Thursday, May 27, 2010

Body parts confirmed as those of missing Bradford woman

Human remains found in a West Yorkshire river are those of missing Bradford woman Suzanne Blamires, police say.

They were recovered from the River Aire, Shipley, on Tuesday after being found by a member of the public.

A man thought to be PhD criminology student Stephen Griffiths, 40, is being questioned on suspicion of murdering Ms Blamires, 36, a prostitute.

He is also suspected of killing two other Bradford sex workers, Shelley Armitage, 31, and Susan Rushworth, 43.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Examination of human remains recovered from the River Aire have confirmed a positive match to Suzanne Blamires. Inquiries into the incident remain ongoing."

Extra time

Ms Blamires, who lived in Barkston Walk, Allerton, was last seen on 21 May.

CCTV footage is understood to be playing a major part in the police investigation.

Detectives have been given extra time, until Thursday evening, to question the suspect who was arrested at an address in Bradford on Monday.

Officers, accompanied by specially-trained sniffer dog teams, have been searching a number of buildings, some of them in the Chain Street area of Bradford's red light district, and underwater search teams have been scouring the river.

Ms Armitage, also from Allerton, has been missing since 26 April and Ms Rushworth, from the Manningham area of the city, has not been seen since June 2009.

'Painstaking' inquiry

Assistant Chief Constable Jawaid Akhtar said: "This is a very thorough and painstaking inquiry into three missing people who are sex workers, with all the necessary resources and expertise devoted to it.

"The families of Suzanne, Shelley and Susan are all being supported by our family liaison officers as the inquiry progresses."

Police started a poster appeal earlier this month to try to trace Ms Armitage - last seen in Rebecca Street in Bradford city centre.

At the time detectives described her as "a much-loved daughter and sister" and said her family were growing increasingly concerned for her welfare.

Ms Rushworth, a mother-of-three who is known as Sue or Susie, was last seen near to her flat at Oak Villas, Manningham.

At the time of her disappearance police said she suffered from epilepsy, had never been missing before and had been getting help for her heroin addiction.

Ms Rushworth's son James, 23, appealed for information, saying: "We are all very worried about her.

"We're a close family and we're not coping very well with her disappearance.

"There is no reason that she would have just left. She's only recently started seeing her grandchildren and was getting to know them."

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