Ilfracombe woman Catherine Nee may have been murdered
DETECTIVES from London who are investigating the suspected murder of an Ilfracombe woman have arrived in the town to carry out inquiries.
A team of four officers from Thames Valley Police major crime unit will speak to residents about missing woman Catherine Nee, who was last seen in Ilfracombe in 2002.
The team, led by Detective Sergeant Pete Clarke, arrived in the town on Tuesday and have been handing out leaflets and posters.
Although police say they are still treating Catherine as a missing person, last week the Journal revealed that a 47-year-old man from the Thames Valley area had been arrested on suspicion of her murder.
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Catherine, originally from Reading, was 31 when she was last seen but would now be aged 43.
DS Clarke said: "We've come to Ilfracombe on several occasions in the past few months.
"This week we are here for three days. We will be handing out leaflets and posters in the town containing photos of Catherine and her dog Prince.
"We will also be speaking to local people who we believe might be able to help with our inquiries."
DS Clarke said the force was keeping an open mind on the case.
He said: "It's possible that she may have just moved away from the area and kept a low profile.
"However, the trail runs cold in Ilfracombe around 2002 so this is a key time and we are trying to find out what happened.
"We're not sure how well known she was in Ilfracombe but we know she used to work at a few hotels in the town so some people might remember her.
"She also had a dog called Prince and we're hoping this might jog a few people's memories too."
DS Clarke said he wants to speak to people who have lived in Ilfracombe's town centre for a while.
He said: "Even the smallest piece of information could be vital so please come forward and tell us what you know.
"Catherine's family, most of whom live in the Thames Valley area, are very keen to find out what has happened to her."
Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting the crime reference number URN 230 of 28/01/2013.