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Papers launch bid to help crack unsolved cold case crimes

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Today, Archant Norfolk’s newspapers, led by the Eastern Daily Press, have launched an unprecedented bid to help police track down those responsible for murders, attacks and rapes – and help crack missing person inquiries – which have gone undetected for up to 50 years.

Over the coming weeks and months the EDP, Norwich Evening News, weekly titles and Mustard TV, will take a renewed look at some of Norfolk Police’s most serious unsolved cases in a bid to help bring justice – and closure – to those families and friends who have had loved ones murdered, attacked or taken from them in the most horrific of circumstances.

It is hoped the campaign, the unrivalled coverage it will provide – and in some cases the reward on offer – will help prompt those with vital clues to come forward and tell the police so these crimes can finally be solved.

Norfolk’s chief constable, Phil Gormley, who is backing the campaign, said: “We are very fortunate to live in a place where serious violent crime is still viewed as extraordinary and shocking.

“However, when crimes of this nature do occur it’s important we do all we can to solve them, to catch violent offenders and bring justice to long-suffering victims of crime and their families. Undetected crimes of this nature remain under constant review and I am very happy to support this fresh approach, which sees Norfolk Constabulary work to seek justice for victims and protect Norfolk’s communities.”

The first case being looked at is the 29-year-old mystery of the murder of Peter Miller, 24, whose body was found in the kitchen of his home in Camden Place, off Blackfriars Road in Great Yarmouth.

His death had been as a result of a single stab wound to his chest and, until recently, the suspected murder weapon had never been found. However, fresh evidence received by the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Major Investigation Team led to the discovery of a sharpened implement which could have been used in the attack. It is being examined to see if it contains evidence linking it to the murder.

Det Insp Gary Bloomfield, senior investigating officer from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, welcomed the new development in the Miller case and said he was in support of the Norfolk Unsolved campaign, which he hoped would generate even more leads for officers working on the case. He said: “There’s a need for a conduit to exist between Norfolk police and the community and this partnership with Archant is an excellent initiative to get the message across in these unsolved cases.”

EDP crime correspondent Peter Walsh, who will be leading the campaign, said: “Having worked at Archant full-time since 2001, I am acutely aware of the huge importance that cold cases have for the families of those who have lost loved ones and are still searching for the answers that will not only bring justice, but closure too.

“Closure on the pain that those families have suffered – some for more than 50 years – as they wait for that vital piece of information that will come in to the inquiry team and help solve the case that will never be forgotten by those affected.

“But these unsolved cases are similarly unforgettable and important to the various titles in the Archant stable which serve the communities of Norfolk as we too want to do what we can to help bring about a resolution to these cases.

“That is why I personally am both excited and privileged to be part of the Norfolk Unsolved campaign which, with the backing of Norfolk police, I think can – and will – help catch killers or solve long-running missing person inquiries,” said Peter.

“During the course of my career I covered the disappearance of seven-year-old Daniel Entwistle from the streets of Great Yarmouth in 2003. Over the years I have also worked on various appeals and re-appeals over the disappearance of April Fabb from near her north Norfolk home in 1969 and that of Norwich woman Kellie Pratt from Norwich in 2000. Her disappearance, together with the unsolved murders of 16-year-old Natalie Pearman in November 1992 and 22-year-old Michelle Bettles in 2002 continue to linger over the county like menacing, dark clouds which will only be shifted when these cases are cracked.

“New evidence that has come in to the Peter Miller inquiry, the 1984 Great Yarmouth murder that launches the campaign, gives renewed hope that this, like others to be featured in the coming weeks and months, might yet be solved. It is that hope which makes me determined to do what I can to bring an end to the misery that has been felt for so long by those poor people who cannot rest until the mystery surrounding what happened to their loved ones is lifted.”

Anyone who has information regarding Peter Miller’s death should contact the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Pictured above, EDP editor Nigel Pickover with Chief Constable Phil Gormley and Det Insp Gary Bloomfield of MIT.

© Archant Ltd 2013