Who was Suzy Lamplugh? The police begin new excavations to solve the 1986 murder case

Who was Suzy Lamplugh? The police begin new excavations to solve the 1986 murder case

Fifteen years after John Cannan was named as the "only suspect" in connection with the disappearance of 25-year-old Suzy Lamplugh in July 1986, police officers are digging the concrete floor of a garage in a house in the Midlands that formerly belonged to his mother.

The estate agent was never seen again after he left for Fulham to show a property to a man identified as "Mr. Kipper."

Although the case has been reopened several times, Lamplugh's body has never been found and the case remains one of the most notorious unsolved cases in the UK.

The current search of the house in Sutton Coldfield follows a minor police investigation in 2002 when they inspected a patio area for a reference from one of Cannan's inmates who told the police he had heard she was buried there.

London's Metropolitan Police did not say what triggered this search, but confirmed that it led the investigation, which was supported by West Midlands Police officers.

The investigators returned to the house earlier this year asking for access to an area at the bottom of the garden, where there is a small garage.

One might assume that Cannan put Lamplugh's body in a car inspection pit and then filled it with concrete.

No one was ever convicted of Lamplugh's death and she was declared dead in 1994.

Cannan is already in jail, serving for 35 years the rape and murder of 30-year-old Shirley Banks in Bristol in 1987.

Suzy Lamplugh, who disappeared in 1986 at the age of 25 (delivered)

At the time of Lamplugh's disappearance the year before, he was released from Wormwood Scrubs Prison following a rape conviction. He had reportedly been nicknamed "Kipper" in prison.

Cannan's parent company in Sutton Coldfield was bought in 1992 by Philip Carey, who was aware of the background story.

He told the journalists this week that the structure of the garage had been dismantled and the police were interested in what was under the floor.

Jim Dickie, the Detective Superintendent oversaw the investigation between 2000 and 2006, confirming that his officials are not digging or doing an "extensive" search for the house at the time.

"We had no evidence or intelligence that made us believe that John Cannan could have secreted Suzy's body there," he told the BBC.

The Sutton Coldfield property is not the first to be dug in search of its remains. Police have twice excavated excavated sites in Worcestershire, first near the Norton Barracks in 2000, and then in 2010, a meadow several miles away.

Cannan, now 64, has been questioned several times about the murder and has denied the allegation.

Suspect John Cannan's parent company in Sutton Coldfield (AFP / Getty)

Lamlugh, one in four, was born in Cheltenham before the family moved to East Sheen, southwest London.

She worked as a beautician on the cruise ship QE2 before becoming a real estate agent in London.

She later linked this with another suspect in the case, Steve Wright, who killed five prostitutes at Ipswich in 2007, having worked as a steward on the boat at the same time. His ex-wife checked her diaries and found that he had land leave at the time of Lamplugh's disappearance. All details have been passed to the police.

After working at QE2, she moved to Putney in southwest London and got a job with the Sturgis real estate agents.

On the day of her disappearance on July 28, 1986, she had written an appointment in her journal: "12:45 Mr. Kipper, 37 Shorrolds O / S." Shorrolds Road is in Fulham, with O / S seemingly "out of the woods".

She picked up her keys, a 15-pound purse, and wore a gray skirt, low-heeled shoes, a peach-colored shirt, and a dark jacket for the appointment the last time she was seen, the police said.

Witnesses said that shortly after 1pm, she had been arguing with the man outside the property. When she failed to attend another appointment and had not contacted her office by 7 pm, her employer called the police.

John Cannan was imprisoned for life in 1989 for the rape and murder of Shirley Banks (PA / Avon and Somerset Police)

That night, her white Ford Fiesta was found a mile and a half away, in front of another house, Stevenage Road in Fulham, also for sale with Sturgis.

The handbrake of the car was off and the ignition key was missing. In the door pocket the handbag of Lamplugh was found.

In the days after their disappearance, police divers raided the Thames near Stevenage Road, and helicopters flew over parks and cemeteries.

Until next year, the police had performed DNA tests on 800 unidentified bodies to identify Lamplugh's body, but found no positive matches.

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She was declared dead by the police in 1994.

In the months following her disappearance, her parents, Diane and Paul Lamplugh, founded the Suzy Lamplugh Trust to "assist, educate, and support people to reduce the risk of violence and aggression for all." Both parents have died since then.

The current owner of the house of suspects, Carey, described the re-examination in his house as "surreal".

He said, "Either [the property] it is completely eliminated from it, or if it has found something, it is the closure for the family, and this tragic story can come to an end. "

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