Police visit lay-by in Janine Downes cold case murder

Police are to visit a lay-by in Shropshire where a woman's body was found 20 years ago as part of a cold case review into her murder.

The body of Janine Downes, from Wolverhampton, was found half-naked and concealed near a hedge on the A464 east of Shifnal on 2 February 1991.

She had been strangled and sexually assaulted, West Mercia Police said.

Now the force is conducting a cold case review into the 22-year-old's death and is appealing for new information.

Her death remains one of the oldest unsolved murders the force continues to investigate, a spokesman said.

Det Ch Insp Neil Jamieson, leading the investigation, will be visiting the scene on Wednesday.

Extensive head wounds

He said: "Although there was huge interest in the case at the time, with many people coming forward with information, Janine's killer has still not been identified.

"There have been a number of arrests over the years but this case remains unsolved to the present day."

Miss Downes was found wearing only a paisley-patterned blouse, a bra and blue ankle socks.

Her other clothes - trainers, jeans, and a black shell-suit top with a yellow stripe - have never been found.

Mr Jamieson said Miss Downes had also suffered extensive head wounds.

"Marks on the frosty ground indicated that Janine had been dragged to the spot where she was found and a pathologist estimated that her body had been dumped there between midnight and 4am," he added.

"We continue to seek that vital piece of evidence that will point us in the direction of an individual, whether that is someone we already know about from the original inquiry, someone who has come to our attention since, or a person we do not yet know anything about.

"We are convinced that there are people who know who killed Janine and, 20 years on, we are hoping someone will decide it's time to come forward so that we can finally bring Janine's killer to justice."

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