Police in Essex are investigating whether two "frenzied" stabbings in the town of Colchester are linked.
Saudi Arabaian student Nahid Almanea, 31, was stabbed 16 times and left to die as she walked along a quiet footpath in the town last Tuesday.
James Attfield, a vulnerable 33-year-old died after being stabbed 102 times in the town in March.
In a statement, Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron said:
We do not yet know whether the murders of Nahid Almanea and James Attfield have been committed by the same person or people.
A criminal profiler from the National Crime Agency has carried out a thorough assessment of all the evidence in connection with both murders.
A decision has been taken that they remain separate but parallel investigations at this time.
However the circumstances of both crimes mean that we must consider the possibility that the same killer or killers are responsible.
We are continuing to explore this line of inquiry, along with many others, and both investigations are being continually resourced and are receiving equal precedence.