UK & World News

  • 21 June 2014, 8:08

Colchester Student Murder: Suspect Released

Detectives investigating the brutal murder of a Saudi Arabian student in Colchester have released a 19-year-old man they were questioning.

Nahid Almanea was stabbed 16 times while walking along a path in Colchester, Essex, on Tuesday morning.

The 31-year-old had been taking an English language course at the University of Essexas part of her studies for a life sciences PhD.

Police released a CCTV picture of Ms Almanea taken moments before her death and a map of her likely route from the home she shared with her brother to the spot on the Salary Brook trail where her body was found.

Police said the man was arrested on Friday in connection with a separate assault after a female jogger claimed a man had approached her and tried to grab her near Peache Road on June 19.

Officers said the man has now been released from police custody, no further action against him is planned, and he has been eliminated from their inquiries.

Earlier, investigators promised to "unrelentingly" pursue all lines of inquiry in the hunt for the foreign student's killer.

Chief Inspector Richard Phillibrown, the town's area commander, said: "I see this murder as an attack on the entire community of Colchester and I believe we will all pull together to respond to it.

"I am confident that the vast majority of people in this town will pay no attention to those trying to stir up trouble."

Police were investigating whether Ms Almanea's clothing - an abaya robe and hijab headscarf - was a factor in the stabbing, but stressed they did not know for sure.

Officers warned that jumping to such conclusions would be "deeply unhelpful, wrong and dangerous" and that there were likely other possible motives.

Officers called for calm, warned local people not to go out alone and to be vigilant, as they confirmed they were investigating threats of revenge attacks on social media.

They said the fact that Ms Almanea was stabbed multiple times bore "obvious similarities" to the murder of James Attfield, a vulnerable man with brain damage who was stabbed more than 100 times in a park in Colchester in March.

But police have stressed the cases remain separate investigations.

Advertisement