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Police appeal for witnesses in Sally Ann John disappearance

Sally Ann John went missing in Swindon in 1995

Police are appealing for witnesses after reclassifying the disappearance of Sally Ann John as a murder investigation.

The 23 year old prostitute went missing from Swindon in 1995.

Today, Wiltshire Police is appealing for any witnesses and information relating to the disappearance and suspected murder of Sally Ann John (known as Sally or Sal).

Sally was 23 years old when she went missing from her hometown of Swindon in 1995. She has not been seen or heard from since this time.

This reinvestigation was initiated following a review of the original investigation and significant new lines of enquiry were established.

This has been reclassified as a murder investigation as detectives believe it is likely that Sally was murdered following her disappearance in 1995.

She was last seen in the Aylesbury Street/Station Road area of Swindon at approximately 10.45pm on Friday September 8th 1995.

Wiltshire Police launched a high profile missing person’s inquiry which ran until December 13th 1995 but, she was never found.

Sally was born and brought up in Swindon and lived at Kimmeridge Close in Nythe and was working as a sex worker in the town at the time of her disappearance.

Sally maintained a good relationship with her family – in particular her mother Lesley John and had a circle of friends in the town.

Although the original missing person investigation concluded in 1995, Sally has remained a missing person on the Wiltshire Police database.

As part of this reinvestigation, Wiltshire Police will be revisiting witnesses and evidence from the original investigation.

Wiltshire Police have been in contact with Sally’s family and will be supporting them throughout this process.

I would like to hear from anyone who may have information on Sally’s disappearance – no matter how small or insignificant they may think this.

This includes any information regarding sightings of her in the days leading up to, during and after Friday 8th September 1995, any contact with her after this period or any information in the days leading up to her disappearance.

Someone, somewhere has vital information regarding Sally's disappearance and I urge them to make contact with us.

I would also like to make it clear that we appreciate that people’s lives will have changed in the last 19 years and that relationships may now be different. I would like to reassure callers that any information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Anyone with information, no matter how insignificant they might think it is, should contact Wiltshire Police on a dedicated phone number for this investigation 0800 056 0944 or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

– Detective Inspector Tim Corner, Major Crime Investigation Team

Police re-investigate the disappearance of a Swindon prostitute in 1995

Sally Ann John went missing in Swindon in 1995

Police are re-investigating the disappearance of a woman who went missing from Swindon in 1995.

24 year old Sally Ann John, a prostitute in the town, was last seen in the Manchester Road area. Police say at the moment there are no plans to interview Christopher Halliwell. He is currently serving a 25 year sentence for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan in 2011.

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Searches completed in Becky Godden investigation

A policeman stands guard at the house in Ashbury Avenue in Swindon Credit: ITV News

Police investigating the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards have now completed the search of the former home of the suspect in Swindon.

Taxi driver Christopher Halliwell, who is serving life for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan and directed police to Becky's body, used to live at the home in Ashbury Avenue.

Work is now complete at the house and a number of items have been sent for forensic analysis. The results of these tests are expected to take some weeks.

The investigation continues and further lines of enquiry have been developed following the new witnesses who came forward as a result of the activity this week.

We will continue to work closely with Becky's family and keep them updated with our progress.

I am pleased with the response from the public to our latest appeal but I would still urge anyone who has information about Becky's disappearance to come forward. There will be people out there who saw her over the Christmas 2002/New Year 2003 period and these people may hold vital details which could help us with this investigation. I can assure callers that information will be taken in the strictest confidence.

– DCI Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police

Officers have thanked residents for their understanding and help during the search, which they stress has nothing to do with the current occupants of the house.

Witness comes forward in Becky Godden investigation

Police activity in Ashbury Avenue, Swindon Credit: ITV News

Police investigating the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards say another witness has come forward with information.

Specialist teams have been searching the former home of Swindon taxi driver Christopher Halliwell, who is serving life for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan and led officers to Becky's remains in 2011.

Our Specialist officers have resumed their searches at the property on Ashbury Avenue and have two rooms left to focus their attention on. The Blood dogs have completed their duties and we are grateful to South Wales Police for their assistance. Another witness came forward last night and has provided information which officers are following up today and we expect that the house to house enquiries will be finished this evening. We are on track to be able to finalise our search by the end of the week and again I would like to say how much we appreciate the understanding of all the local residents. We continue to appeal for any information about where Becky Godden was over the period of Christmas 2002 and New Year 2003. I urge anyone who has information to contact us on 101.

– DCI Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police

Police make finds in Becky Godden investigation

Sniffer dogs were called in to help the search of the house in Ashbury Avenue Credit: ITV News

Police investigating the death of Becky Godden-Edwards have found a number of items of interest in the search of a house in Swindon. The items have been sent for analysis by experts.

More than 40 staff are continuing to search the house in Ashbury Avenue, which is the former home of Christopher Halliwell, who is serving life for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan.

The detective in charge of the search is asking for anyone with information about Becky to come forward.

People have come forward with helpful information who have not contacted us previously as they didn’t think it would be relevant. I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to let us know any information you have, as the smallest detail may be the key to justice for Becky and her family.

We know that Becky was last seen on 27 December 2002 and we need people to come forward with any information about where she was in early 2003 - Did you see Becky over the New Year period?

I would like to reiterate our thanks to the occupants of the house who have no involvement in this investigation and the local community for their assistance and co-operation. I anticipate that the road closure at Ashbury Avenue will remain in place until the end of the week.’

– DCI Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police

More than 30 officers search Halliwell's former home

Police forensic teams investigating the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards are searching a house in Swindon, where convicted killer Christopher Halliwell used to live.

Crime scene specialists will be carrying out meticulous searches, removing flooring and examining spaces behind walls at the property in Ashbury Avenue. The team of more than 30 police staff is also working with dogs who can detect traces of blood, even after many years.

I can't eliminate this address until I have searched it thoroughly. That's why we are using a number of specialist resources, including blood dogs, specialist search officers and specialist scenes of crime officers today.

– Det Ch Insp Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police

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Search of Halliwell's former home could take a week

Police activity in Ashbury Avenue, Swindon Credit: ITV News

Searches are taking place at the former home of Christopher Halliwell in Swindon.

Halliwell is serving life in jail for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan. He also led officers to the remains of Becky Godden-Edwards but the prosecution fell through because of errors in police procedure. She was last seen in December 2002 and now a major search is taking place at the house in Ashbury Avenue, where Halliwell used to live.

Detective Chief Inspector Sean Memory is leading the search.

‘We are focusing our attention on this property as part of the ongoing investigation and have organised a specialist team comprised of over 30 staff. These officers are concentrating their search for any items which may be related to Becky’s murder or may assist with the investigation into her death.

We have a number of Crime Scene Investigators who will conduct meticulous fingertip searches of the property. This will include the removal of flooring, exploring space behind walls and in loft areas and a methodical search carried out until I am satisfied that the entire house has been thoroughly examined.

– Detective Chief Inspector Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police
Sniffer dogs have been brought in to help the search Credit: ITV News

Dogs have also been brought in to help the search for evidence.

Cadaver dogs from South Wales Police will also play a key part in the examination of the property; these dogs can detect minute traces of blood or human remains even if it has been there for many years. We are also receiving assistance from colleagues from other agencies who are providing specialist search equipment.

– Detective Chief Inspector Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police

House-to-house enquiries will be taking place in the area.

Police anticipate the operation will take about a week.

Home searched in Becky Godden murder investigation

A major search is taking place at 24 Ashbury Avenue in Swindon as police continue to investigate the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards Credit: ITV News

Police in Swindon have begun searching a house once occupied by Christopher Halliwell. Halliwell is serving life for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan, but a prosecution for a second murder, of Becky Godden-Edwards, collapsed due to errors in police procedure.

It's thought Halliwell lived at the house at 24 Ashbury Avenue until 2007, but police are stressing that the current occupants are not connected with the inquiry in any way.

Murder victim Becky Godden-Edwards Credit: Family

Latest on Swindon waste plant fire

Fire crews at Averies Recycling, the Swindon waste plant which burned for eight weeks Credit: ITV News

Councillors in Swindon are to hold public hearings about the Averies Recycling fire, and how future incidents can be prevented from causing so much disruption.

The fire began at Averies Recycling in Marshgate in July and burned for eight weeks.

The council has set up a special task force to consider issues of planning, fire and rescue, the environment and medical care.

This will include evidence from experts and personal perspectives from members of the public. There will be at least four public meetings before any recommendations are made.

These are likely to start in January 2015, but this all depends on the publication of a report by the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum, which met this week to discuss the fire.

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