More Cash to Help Solve Kent Murders

31 March 2010, 10:46 | Updated: 31 March 2010, 10:58

Money has been given to Kent Police to help them re-examine three unsolved murders in the county.

The cash, from the Home Office, will be used by the Cold Case Investigation Team to carry out more forensic tests on items found at the murder scenes.

26 year-old Wendy Knell was found dead in her bedsit in Tunbridge Wells in June 1987 while Caroline Pierce, who was 20, was found dead in a ditch 40 miles from her bedsit in the town five months later.

Police think the same killer may be responsible for both deaths and a breakthrough in forensic examination has led to a DNA profile being identified.

Schoolgirl Claire Tiltman was murdered in January 1993. The 16 year old was stabbed to death in an alleyway close to her home in Greenhithe.

Head of the Kent Police's Cold Case Investigation Team Detective Chief Inspector Dave Withers said: "We are pleased that the Home Office are releasing money to assist forces to deal with these types of cases.

"The cases of Wendy Knell, Caroline Pierce and Claire Tiltman have always been high profile in the county and we will go to any lengths that we can to find the killers of these young ladies and bring the killers to justice, and bring some closure for the families.

"Operation Stealth has looked at the potential for a successful conclusion to unsolved murders, as more money has been invested in scientific technology," Det Ch Insp Withers said. "We have received a substantial amount of funding so far and we are always considering new applications that we can make to secure further funding and progress any investigation."

He added: "In the case of Claire Tiltman we are examining items to see if we can find any further forensic evidence that will help identify the offender.

"In the Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce cases we have a DNA profile and can use the funding to establish whose DNA it is."