Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Police hunting killer who mutilated seamstress seek clues in Italy

Detectives hunting the killer of a seamstress whose mutilated body was found by her two children were in Italy today as part of the investigation.

Mother-of-two Heather Barnett's body was found by her children, Caitlin and Terry, then aged 11 and 14 respectively, at her home near Bournemouth, Dorset, on November 12, 2002.

The 48-year-old had been stabbed and hit with a hammer-like object, before the killer cut off her breasts and placed the hair of another woman in her hands.

Four Dorset detectives will return from Italy this weekend after spending the week investigating 15 cases of women whose hair was cut in unusual circumstances in Rome, Potenza, Turin, Rimini and Milan.

DNA samples from the hair will be compared to that found in Ms Barnett's hand.

They are also trying to trace a man seen on CCTV near the murder scene that day, and find the owner of a Nike "Terra Part Stormy" trainer whose footprint was in blood at the murder scene.

Superintendent Mark Cooper, of Dorset Police, said: "The Heather Barnett murder investigation is never closed and we remain as resolute and committed to catching her brutal killer as we were in the days and weeks after Heather's tragic death.

"This is an unusual murder case and the professional and focused investigation continues to be a challenge.

"We are using the latest advances in DNA genetic profiling, and Dorset Police is committed to achieving justice for Heather, her two children and the rest of the family.

"We are following several lines of specific, detailed and continuing inquiry and detectives travelling out to Italy this week is just one example of that. We have been liaising closely with Interpol and the Italian police."

Anyone with information should contact Dorset Police on 01202 222 222, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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