UK & World News

  • 24 April 2013, 2:01

Becky Godden Murder: Mother's Plea To Killer

A mother whose daughter was murdered has pleaded with the man who led police to her daughter's remains to "come clean".

Karen Edwards urged taxi driver Christopher Halliwell to confess to killing Rebecca Godden, who was known as Becky.

Halliwell, 49, is serving life imprisonment after admitting murdering Swindon office worker Sian O'Callaghan, 22.

A narrative verdict was recorded at an inquest into Miss Godden's death on Tuesday.

Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter said it was likely that she had died an "unnatural and violent" death due to an "unlawful act of a third party".

Miss Godden, 20, who turned to prostitution after becoming addicted to heroin, was murdered and buried in a shallow grave on farmland in a Cotswold beauty spot.

Pathologists were unable to ascertain the cause of death due to the length of time between the body being buried and it being found.

The family of Miss Godden listened to detailed post-mortem reports about the state of her decomposed body. Her mother, Karen Edwards, cried as the court heard that her skull, arms and parts of her feet were missing. They have never been found.

Halliwell admitted her murder but was not charged because he had not been cautioned by the police.

Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Edwards appealed directly to the father-of-three.

"I feel that, as her mum, I will get to the root of this even if it's with the last breath in my body; I will get a conviction of some description," she said, fighting back tears.

"And I'd also like to appeal to Christopher Halliwell - this is your chance now. Come clean, please, please, what have you got to lose?

"My personal opinion, I don't think he's ever going to come out, so why not put everyone out of their misery?"

Mrs Edwards said: "What I would like to do today is appeal to anybody out there who knows anything at all - any tiny, tiny, little bit of evidence - anything that may help to convict Becky's murderer.

"Any tiny little thing and I would be eternally grateful... just please get in touch with the police.

"This is still very much an open murder investigation. The police are working very, very hard behind the scenes and I would like to think that I am working with them.

"I want Becky's murderer found and I want a conviction."

The inquest heard that the last positive sighting of Miss Godden, then aged 20, was by a police officer on December 27, 2002, in the Manchester Road area of Swindon.

Her family did not know where she was and thought she was living in the Bristol area.

It was not until police knocked on their door on what would have been her 29th birthday - April 4, 2011 - that they discovered the horrific truth.

She had broken off contact with her family after saying she could not put her mother through the pain of watching her succumb to drugs.

Her family had previously paid for private rehabilitation treatment in an effort to help her "get clean".

Detectives had been led to the field in Eastleach, Gloucestershire, by Halliwell in March 2011.

He had confessed to killing Miss Godden and Miss O'Callaghan, taking Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher to where he hid their bodies.

But Mr Fulcher's failure to follow the rules meant the murder charge in Miss Godden's case had to be dropped.

The hearing also heard that the police investigation remains open and officers are determined to bring Miss Godden's murderer to justice.

Detective sergeant Peter Ritson said police were working on the basis that Miss Godden died in either December 2002 or early 2003. He added that there was no known location for her death.

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