New DNA Evidence Uncovered In Birmingham Murder Case
20 December 2018, 17:41 | Updated: 20 December 2018, 17:43
Detectives investigating the unsolved 1996 murder of a mother-of-three have uncovered new DNA evidence which they hope could help catch her killer.
The badly-decomposed body of Surinder Kaur Varyapraj was found in a bedroom at her home in Handsworth, Birmingham, after a local shopkeeper became concerned she had not been seen for up to five weeks.
The 36-year-old, who was found dead on March 5 1996, had been strangled, possibly with some sort of ligature.
No arrests were made in the wake of the killing, despite extensive forensic examinations and house-to-house inquiries.
Fingerprints were also recovered from Ms Varyapraj's home in Church Hill Road but could not be identified during the original inquiry.
Officers from the cold case review team at West Midlands Police recently reviewed evidence and a DNA profile has been uncovered which has led to several people being eliminated from the inquiry.
The profile does not match anyone on the national DNA database.
Officers are now appealing for information about a man seen driving a Jaguar XJS grand tourer, who is thought to have lived in the local area.
Cold case investigator Sab Johal said: "We are keen to trace an Asian man who drove a Jaguar XJS, with the partial registration RAJ, who has been mentioned by other witnesses during the investigation.
"He was believed to rent a room in Vicarage Road, Handsworth, however the man was never identified.
"We think someone may know who he is or remember the car.
"If they do, I would urge them to come forward with a name. There are measures we can take to protect the identity of anyone with information. If you are that person and you were not involved in the death of Surinder, you can come forward and be eliminated through DNA comparison.
"You can come forward in the strictest of confidence."
The last-known sighting of Ms Varyapraj was on Sunday February 4, when she was seen sweeping snow from the alleyway at the rear of her home, a day before neighbours heard a brief high-pitched scream nearby.
Mr Johal added: "We now need the public's help to find the person responsible - we need a name so it can be compared against the new DNA sample.
"This was an horrific act and we are still doing all we can to deliver justice for the family of Surinder."
Anyone with information is urged to contact the cold case review team via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk from 8am to midnight, call 101 anytime or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.