Oct 3 2013
Detectives investigating the murder of Melanie Hall have received "significant" new clues they hope could provide a breakthrough in the long hunt for her killer.
Melanie Hall, 25, went missing 17 years ago and her body was found dumped by the side of the M5 near Bristol in 2009.
Today, on the fourth anniversary of the discovery of Miss Hall's body, police revealed they have uncovered "significant and very interesting" information.
A Volkswagen Golf recently discovered by officers is being examined by forensic experts.
Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour, leading the murder inquiry, said: "Over the past four years we have received information, intelligence and names that we have taken seriously, researched and thoroughly investigated.
"We have recently received information concerning the origin of the blue rope that was used to tie up Melanie's body. It is significant information and we are actively working on that line of inquiry. We are working with forensic scientists in relation to the rope and the circumstances of where that particular length of rope came from.
"Also, we have recently found and recovered a car that may be relevant to events in 1996 when Melanie disappeared.
"It is a white, A-registered, mark 1 Volkswagen Golf GTi cabriolet which is currently being examined by forensic scientists. At this stage we do not know if it is connected with the case, but it is a very interesting and possibly significant line of inquiry.
"If anyone has any information about the circumstances of Melanie's disappearance and her murder or can connect that car to what happened to her in 1996, please contact us and tell us what you know."
Miss Hall, who worked at Royal United Hospital in Bath, vanished after a night out at Cadillacs nightclub in Walcot Street, Bath, in June 1996.
On October 5, 2009, human remains were found by the side of the M5 by a workman who was clearing vegetation on the slip road at junction 14, near Thornbury, south Gloucestershire.
Two days later, the remains were identified as those of Miss Hall, from Wiltshire.
The fresh appeal by detectives has been welcomed by Miss Hall's family, who issued a plea for anyone with information to come forward.
Her elder sister Dominique said: "We have always been hopeful that someone would be brought to justice and that we would find out the details of what happened to Melanie.
"It won't make the future any different - there will never be closure for our family - but it would be a great consolation if someone would search their conscience and come forward to police with that vital information we need."
Miss Hall's father Steve said: "This is very positive news. Gradually the pieces of the jigsaw are being put together to bring Melanie's killer or killers to justice.
"We always knew it would take a long time, but these new developments appear very encouraging. It's time for whoever has information about Melanie's murder to come forward and bring this to an end - because it will come to an end eventually. The police won't give up until they get a result."
Mr Courtiour said officers from Avon and Somerset police were determined to solve the case.
"Bringing Melanie Hall's killer or killers to justice remains one of our highest priorities," he said.
"On this fourth anniversary of the discovery of her body, I can stress that the investigation is very much active. It has been, and continues to be, one of the most detailed and thorough murder investigations in the force's history."
Anyone with information is asked to contact the murder incident room at Avon and Somerset police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.