Sex abuse probe body to reburied
Published 13/04/2011 | 10:02
The body of a suspected rape and sex abuse victim will be re-buried on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The remains of Belinda "Binny" Day, a mother-of-three who committed suicide at the age of 27 in March 1989, were exhumed from a graveyard in Budleigh Salterton on Tuesday night by Devon and Cornwall Police.
They are investigating "historic sexual abuse" in east Devon stretching back decades and have taken DNA samples from Mrs Day's body which they believe will give them "crucial" new evidence in their investigation, called Operation Goodrich.
Mrs Day's brother, Adrian "Tommy" Dance, 54, was jailed for 21 years last July after admitting a string of sexual offences against young girls, including rape. He is among a number of possible suspects in the case but police said they have yet to interview him in connection with claims regarding his sister.
A police spokesman said Mrs Day's body would be re-buried after a private funeral service attended by her close family.
"Tests on her remains were carried out early this morning," he said. "We will now send the evidence off to the lab. It will be a number of weeks before we might arrest any potential suspects."
Mrs Day threw herself off a cliff on the coast near Budleigh Salterton on March 3, 1989.
Detective Constable Michael Chalmers, the officer in charge of Operation Goodrich, said on Monday: "It is clear that Binny was sexually abused and violently raped over an extended period. We will do whatever is necessary to bring her abusers to justice.
"Witnesses have come forward in support of this investigation and suspects have been identified."
Mrs Day's exhumation from the graveyard at St Peter's in Budleigh Salterton was attended by her immediate family and overseen by the local vicar, the Reverend Anne Charlton, and officials from the Diocese of Exeter, who blessed the body.