Nahid Almanea murder: Colchester lake drained

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Media captionDet Ch Insp Steve Worron: Officers keen to trace man wearing distinctive jacket

A lake has been drained and searched by police investigating the murder of a Saudi Arabian student in Colchester.

Nahid Almanea, 31, was found with 16 stab wounds on a path near Avon Way on Tuesday. She was on her way to the University of Essex.

Essex Police said one fishing lake near the scene had already been drained and two others would follow.

No "knife or other bladed weapon with a proven link to the murder of Nahid" had been found, police said.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Police are looking for a man seen wearing a jacket similar to this

'Distinctive jacket'

Det Ch Insp Steve Worron said officers were searching the first of the fishing lakes in Colchester for "any items of significance".

Police have also issued a description of a man who was seen on the Salary Brook Trail between 10:20 and 10:40 BST on Tuesday, shortly before Ms Almanea was found.

"He is described as being aged in his late teens to 30. He had very black, thick hair which was quite short and a two-to-three-inch mop style on top," Mr Worron said.

The man is said to have a "tanned appearance" and was wearing baggy trousers and a "distinctive jacket which is described as being an Italian designer item".

"He was walking from the direction of the university towards the Greenstead estate," he added.

Police are still also looking for a man who was wearing a red hooded top and seen running along Hewes Close, at about 10:50.

Image caption Seven police forces are now helping Essex Police with the murder inquiry

Call for vigilance

Ms Almanea was studying for a PhD and had lived in England for less than a year.

Her body has been released by the coroner and was returned to her native Saudi Arabia earlier this week.

Essex Police has not ruled out a possible link with the murder of James Attfield, who died when he was stabbed 102 times at Castle Park on 29 March.

Mr Worron said: "We have now had two knife murders in Colchester in less than three months where the motive for the attacks remains unknown.

"Against that background, we would advise everyone in the town to remain vigilant."

Officers from forces in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk and the Met have been drafted in to assist the investigations.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Nahid Almanea was captured on CCTV moments before her death

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