Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Plea after teenager's body found

The family of a teenager murdered after going missing a decade ago has made an emotional plea after police confirmed they had found her body.

Vulnerable Rachel Wilson, 19, disappeared from Middlesbrough, where she was a sex worker, in May 2002.

Cleveland Police confirmed that human remains found at Newham Hall Farm on the outskirts of the town were hers and said they have reopened the investigation into Rachel's death.

Speaking at a press conference at the force's headquarters in Middlesbrough, her mother Tina Wilson said: "For the last 10 years we've been sure she'll come in the house. On Friday we found out she wouldn't. All I'm asking for is somebody that knows, come forward and let us know and let us find out what happened to Rachel."

Rachel's remains were found in a hollow in the ground by a farmer, who was working on his land. A 57-year-old man was arrested in 2003 but was released without charge. Detectives said the case was never closed and a small team of officers is now working on the investigation again. Experts, including forensic archaeologists, are also involved.

Detective Superintendent Peter McPhillips said the investigation will focus on those who frequented the area in which Rachel's body was found.

"Obviously one of our lines of inquiry is to see who was accessing that site and that may well encompass people who use prostitutes," he said. "My message to them is this: It's never too late to do the right thing."

He said the discovery represents "some closure" for Rachel's family but many fundamental questions remain.

"The anguish they have suffered over the years is unimaginable but they have never given up hope that Rachel will return home again," he said.

"There's been a post-mortem examination carried out and we cannot confirm how she died. It's going to be really difficult. We have got no cause of death, there was no clothing there." He added that there was a chance police may never know how she died.


From Belfast Telegraph