Police say blue rope may lead them to killer of young Wiltshire woman

TEN years after the body of Bradford on Avon woman Melanie Hall was found in undergrowth on the side of a motorway police believe they may have found the killer’s DNA on rope used to tie her up.

The murder mystery of Melanie, 25, started 23 years ago when she was last seen at a nightclub in Bath in June, 1996.

But her remains were not found until October 4, 2009 next to junction 14 on the northbound slip road of the M5 at Thornbury.

Now detectives probing the mystery think that distinctive blue rope found in the undergrowth 13 years later by men cutting the grass may hold the key to finding her killer.

Det Chief Insp James Riccio said the DNA investigation was in its “em­­­bryonic stages” but added: “We’re confident that, with corroborative evi­­­dence, it will lead to a charge.”

He also revealed that the person who dumped the body “in haste” may not have been the killer. He said: “People know how Mel­­anie got here. People know how she died.”

Her parents Steve and Patricia Hall, who lives at Leigh Grove, Bradford on Avon have never given up hope that the killer will be found.

Mr Hall said: “In our family, we will forever grieve for, and miss our lovely daughter. A young woman whose life stretched before her until that fateful night in June 1996, when that life was so cruelly snatched from her.

“She will never fulfill her life’s ambitions, never marry, never have children and my wife and I will never have another grandchild.

“Her mother’s lasting memory of her youngest daughter is the day she viewed a battered skull and a few broken bones in the coroner’s office at Portishead.”

“It is now over 23 years since our youngest daughter, Melanie, was murdered, probably on the streets of Bath.

“Since that time the Avon and Somerset Police have poured endless resources in their attempt to find her killer.

“Sadly, as yet, this objective remains unfulfilled, although I and my family remain eternally optimistic that, eventually they will be successful.”

But although he believes in the police, he fears his daughter’s killer – or killers – will take their secrets to the grave.

This is Wiltshire


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