The lady in the Afghan coat

17 September 2010, 06:00

Police trying to identify a woman who was killed in Hertfordshire in the 1970s are taking their enquiries to Paris.

It's after a man - who saw a recent appeal to try and trace the unknown lady - got in touch with police.

The woman - who is believed to be aged between 23 and 25 years - was hit by a vehicle on the A1M, just south of the access road from the A507 at Radwell in Hertfordshire in the early hours of February 18th, 1975.

Afghan CoatWhen her body was found she wasn't wearing shoes or carrying a handbag and had no identification on her. The lady was wearing a big Afghan coat - and it's not known whether drivers had mistaken her for an animal because of the furry coat.

Her shoes and bag were never found - despite searches being carried out - and it's thought she might have left a vehicle in a hurry because her feet showed that she hadn't walked very far.

The vehicle that she was hit by has never been traced and police don't know whether the driver knew they had hit her - or whether they thought they had collided with an animal.

In June this year, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police featured the case of the woman's death as a part of a review of a number of unidentified bodies called 'Operation Hermes' - which is being carried out by the Cold Case Review Unit.

After an appeal, police were contacted by a man who lives in Christchurch in Dorset, who recognised the facial reconstruction of the lady. She had been wearing her Afghan coat when he first came across her hitch-hiking in the Stotfold area of Bedfordshire in the early 1970s.

The young woman told him her name was Odile Ludic (police are unsure of the spelling) and that she was either from North Paris or from North of Paris. She was studying English at a language school in Cambridge and stayed at his family home for around six months.

Ms Ludic spoke often of her mother and sister but never mentioned her father. She had friends in the Newquay area of Cornwall and often hitch-hiked to visit them. She also worked at a packaging company on the Henlow Trading Estate.

'Odile' had a boyfriend - who has since passed away - who she would spend evenings drinking with him in a Social Club in Stotfold, which has now been demolished. She liked to drink cider and was said to be a Gary Glitter fan.

After she left the man's family, Ms Ludic went to stay in a street of terraced houses in Cambridge.

Detectives are currently making enquiries via Interpol in France to try and trace the lady's relatives and are appealing for anyone who has information to get in touch.

Lady in Afghan CoatThe woman is 5'4", with a very slim, boyish figure. She weighed about eight and half stone and had size five feet. At the post mortem, the pathologist found the woman has an NHS filling in her teeth. She also had two distinctive warts / moles on her upper left thigh and pelvic area and a scar on her right leg, just below the knee.