Cannock Chase child killer Raymond Morris dies in jail

Raymond Morris under arrest Image copyright PA
Image caption Raymond Morris was taken to Cannock police station and charged with Christine Darby's murder in 1968

A man jailed 45 years ago for one of the three Cannock Chase child murders has died in prison.

Raymond Morris, 84, from Walsall, West Midlands, found guilty of murdering Christine Darby, seven, who went missing in 1967.

The Ministry of Justice said he died at HMP Preston at about 20:00 GMT on Tuesday, of suspected natural causes.

As with all deaths in custody, there will be an independent investigation by the prisons ombudsman.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Christine Darby was last seen getting into a stranger's car in 1967

Seven-year-old Christine was one of three girls living in the West Midlands whose bodies were found on Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.

In 1965 Margaret Reynolds, aged six, disappeared from Aston, Birmingham, and Diane Tift, aged five, went missing from near her grandmother's home in Bloxwich.

They were abducted, raped and murdered before being partially buried on Cannock Chase, a large area of heathland, woods and forestry.

No-one was ever charged with their murders.

Eighteen months later, seven-year-old Christine was taken from a Walsall street by a man in a grey car.

Her body was also found on Cannock Chase. She had also been raped and murdered.

The investigation that followed the murders was one of the biggest in British criminal history.

Morris was found guilty of Christine's murder in 1969.

He made a number of failed appeals against his conviction, most recently at the age of 81.

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