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How tatty dress & Guinness sign hold key to solving grim ‘Angel of the Meadow’ murder – 55yrs after woman buried in slum

A TATTY pinafore dress and discarded shoe belonging to a woman buried in a Victorian slum remain at the centre of a mysterious cold case.

In the 1970s or 80s, a young woman was sexually assaulted then brutally murdered – her collarbone, neck and jaw broken.

CavendishA pinafore dress remains at the centre of the Angel of the Meadow case[/caption]

CavendishThe woman’s body was found on a building site in 2010[/caption]

MEN MediaA pub Guinness sign was also found nearby[/caption]

Her body lay undiscovered for almost five decades until workmen found her skeletal remains on a building site in 2010.

She became known as the Angel of the Meadow due to the area of Manchester the grisly find was made in.

Angel Meadow was previously branded “Hell on Earth” when it served as a poverty-stricken slum in the nineteenth century.

It had managed to shake the vile moniker until January 25, 2010, when its dark past was unearthed by builders working on a re-development.

A labourer first noticed a skull in the unforgiving earth before the rest of the woman’s body was discovered concealed under a tatty blue carpet.

Police launched a murder probe but the woman’s identity and killer have never been established.

A post mortem revealed she was aged 18 to 35 when she died and that she was murdered in the 1970s or 80s.

The Angel was probably European but possibly from India or the Middle East and was a UK size 12.

This intricate detail was discovered when further excavation work at the site unearthed a 1970s-style green pinafore dress, blue jumper and blue bra.

Police also found a black stiletto court shoe – although the other was never discovered – an empty handbag and a plastic Guinness measuring chart from the late 1960s.

They began the mammoth task of identifying the woman by carrying out detailed forensic tests on her body.

Through this, officers were able to establish she had a number of dental fillings and a missing tooth that would have been obvious when she smiled.

Manchester Evening News SyndicationPolice made a facial reconstruction in a bid to identify the woman[/caption]

Greater Manchester PoliceOfficers found one of the women’s shoes near her body[/caption]

She had been covered in bits of carpetGreater Manchester Police

The woman was also born in the 1950s and was believed to have been killed between 1975 and 1988.

The carpets used to hide her body were orange and blue – with one believed to have come from a Ford Cortina.

In 2011, police revealed a facial reconstruction in the hope someone may recognise the woman but no one has ever come forward.

At first they believed she may be one of three women who had vanished in the Greater Manchester area – Helen Sage, Zope Simpson and Helen McCourt.

But they hit a dead end again when her dentistry work did not match up.

Officers even travelled to Ireland, Texas and Holland as they remained determined to identify the Angel.

They believed they finally had a breakthrough in 2012 when a family from Tanzania came forward to express fears a relative was the unknown woman.

Police later confirmed they had “good reason” to believe there was a match but were hindered by the authorities in the country.

A coroner previously recorded a verdict of unlawful killing, saying: “I do hope that Greater Manchester Police are able to continue with their investigation and that the person who inflicted these terrible injuries is brought to justice.”

The woman’s death has been linked to notorious serial killers Christopher Halliwell, Peter Tobin and Ronald Castree but no formal connection has been made.

She was buried in an unmarked grave in 2015 in a ceremony attended by two detectives working on the case.

A tombstone reads: “In Memory of Angel of the Meadow. Found 25th January, 2010.”

Angel of the Meadow – what we know

Gender – Female

Age Range – 18 – 30

Ethnicity – Unknown

Height – 155cm – 170cm (5 Ft 1 Ins – 5 Ft 6 Ins)

Date Found – 25 January 2010

Body Or Remains – Body

Circumstances – Found at Angel Meadows car park. Covered by a blue carpet prior to discovery

Eye Colour – Unknown

Clothing – Blue jumper, blue bra

Dress – Green. Pinafore with large buttons & unusual design on the front – This was found near the female

Footwear – 1 X black stiletto found near the female

Possessions – Handbag – found near the female. Plain blue carpet found on top of her. Patterned orange carpet also found with the body.

Source: NCA UK Missing Persons Unit

Despite Greater Manchester Police’s determination in finding both their killer and the woman’s identify, the mystery remains.

Speaking about the case previously, Detective Chief Inspector Jeff McMahon, of Greater Manchester’s Police Major Incident Team, said: “We had a great response from the public following an initial appeal to identify this woman, and while we are reviewing all the information we have received, we are yet to have anyone come forward and offer a name as to who this woman might be.

“We know she suffered a violent death and I am determined to get justice for her and to ensure whoever is responsible does not get away with murder.

“This is going to be a lengthy and difficult investigation but I would reiterate my appeal to anyone who thinks they might know who this woman is or who has any information about the distinctive clothing to get in touch.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 5978 or 101. Reports can also be made via the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

CavendishThe discovery was made years after the woman was murdered[/caption]

Part of the carpet she was found wrapped in

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