UK & World News

  • 20 June 2014, 0:35

Colchester Knife Murders: Public Warned

Police investigating the murder of a Muslim woman have revealed she was stabbed 16 times - and are warning people not to go out alone.

Saudi Arabian student Nahid Almanea, 31, was attacked as she walked along a footpath in Colchester, Essex on Tuesday morning.

Officers told a news conference they were investigating whether her clothing - an abaya robe and a hijab headscarf - may have been a factor in the stabbing, but that they do not yet know for sure.

Police have released CCTV footage of a woman they believe was Ms Almanea walking past shops in Hunwicke Road at around 10.20am on Tuesday.

And they have also shown on a map the route she was most likely to have taken as she made her way from home in Woodrow Way before the knife attack at the Salary Brook Trail.

Officers said Ms Almanea lived with her brother and would normally walk to the University of Essex with him. Because he had earlier lectures that day, she was walking alone.

They said two of the wounds she received would have been fatal on their own and they were also looking into whether the killing was linked to another fatal stabbing in March.

Chief Insp Richard Phillibrown said: "It's true that we've two knife murders in Colchester in less than three months, where the motive remains unknown.

"I urge everyone in Colchester to be vigilant. The similarities between those two offences will be drawn.

"It's important that people are aware of their own surroundings, that they don't go out alone in isolated places, that they take sensible precautions."

A 52-year-old man arrested in connection with the incident has been released after police said he had been positively eliminated from their enquiries.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron said Ms Almanea "suffered at least two knife wounds which would have proved fatal on their own, but in total she was stabbed 16 times to her body, neck, head and arms".

It comes after the murder of a vulnerable man, who had a brain injury after being hit by a car four years ago, near Castle Park in Colchester in the early hours of the morning on March 29.

A post-mortem examination found 33-year-old James Attfield had been stabbed more than 100 times.

Essex Police also issued an image of the bag Ms Almaneawas using at the time she was killed.

They said it was a black and orange shoulder bag with the logo Activ on it.

Anyone who saw a woman walking though the Greenstead estate on Tuesday morning carrying this bag is asked to contact officers on 101.

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