Detectives investigating the murder of a woman from Penwortham 21 years ago have launched a new appeal for information on the anniversary of her death.
20 year old Janet Murgatroyd was found dead in the River Ribble on June 16, 1996 after a night out with a friend. Police say she was attacked as she walked home alone from Preston town centre.
Officers say that during Saturday, June 15, 1996 – the same day as the Arndale Shopping Centre bombing in Manchester and the England versus Scotland match at the Euro 96 football tournament – Janet Murgatroyd had been shopping with a friend in Preston.
They returned to a flat in Ashton and went back into Preston shortly after, drinking in several pubs.
Later in the evening Janet left The Adelphi pub with a man before leaving him close to Boltons Court.
Later she was seen asleep on Fishergate outside the entrance to Preston Railway Station and was later spotted walking towards Penwortham on Fishergate Hill.
In the early hours of June 16 Janet a taxi driver saw her being chased across Penwortham Bridge and away from town by a man.
A short time later two witnesses walking out of town on Penwortham Bridge described hearing the sound of a female moaning and saw a man crouched down on the bank of the River Ribble by Priory Park car park. Detectives believe this was Janet and her attacker.
Later that day, around noon, Janet’s body was found floating in the River Ribble between the Bridge Inn Pub and the Continental Pub.
Janet’s clothing, with the exception of her jeans, was found on the river bank by Priory Park.
A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as drowning and head injuries.
Following extensive enquiries detectives arrested a 22-year-old man. He was charged by police before being prosecuted and convicted for her murder in October 2002. However, but his conviction was later quashed at the Court of Appeal.