1. ITV Report

New leads in the hunt for Johanna's Killer

Johanna Young Photo: ITV Anglia

Police hunting the killer of Johanna Young 21 years ago say they have new evidence that could finally bringing the offenders to justice.

A plea from Johanna’s parents around the anniversary of her death at the end of last year promoted the largest number of calls ever received by the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team’s unsolved case unit.

Johanna's parents, Carol & Robert, appealing for information Credit: ITV Anglia

On Wednesday 23 December 1992, Johanna left her parent’s home in Watton and headed out into the foggy night towards the town centre, her body was found two days later in an area off Griston Road, known locally as Gilman’s Drift.

Today police say several pieces of new or freshly reviewed information are forming the crux of their enquiries.

The first, an anonymous tip off fed through to investigating officers from the Eastern Daily Press newspaper, led indirectly to the arrest of two men, one a man in his 40s from the Watton area and one a man in his 30s from the Thetford area.

Both men, known to each other and who lived in the Watton area at the time of Johanna’s death, remain on bail.

Johanna's body was discovered in 1992 Credit: ITV Anglia

Another significant line of enquiry came from a review of witness statements taken in early 1993 and, in particular, that of a local dog walker who was walking out from Lovell Gardens the evening of Johanna’s disappearance.

He reported seeing a young woman, who fitted Johanna’s description, and a youth standing at the entrance of Gilman’s Drift. The young man was leaning against a motorbike.

The final critical piece of information centred around a call received following the two arrests. This call came from a local man who is now aged in his 40s but who would have been early 20s at the time of Johanna’s death.

He said he had been driving with a friend out of Watton towards Scoulton on a foggy night late in December when, close to the RAF camp, they stopped the car because they could see a young man walking along the left hand side of the road. This man, who appeared dishevelled and slightly distressed, was aged in his late teens, wearing a hooded top.

Johanna Young Credit: ITV Anglia

The man asked to be taken to Scoulton and was dropped off near the council houses. The caller said he recognised him as local to the Watton area and thought he may be able to help police with their enquiries. Detectives are keen to trace this youth.

We have always said that the answer to this case lies in the information that only local residents can provide us. We would once again appeal to people to look to their consciences and consider, as several people have already done, whether the information they have held onto for over 20 years could be the key to this whole enquiry.

– Detective Inspector Marie James, Norfolk Police

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