1. ITV Report

ITV's Crime Files reveals how police searched for dismembered body

The body of Tracey Woodford had been dismembered and hidden in various places. Photo:

The murder of Pontypridd woman Tracey Woodford will be featured tonight on ITV Cymru Wales’ new series Crime Files.

Former butcher Christopher May was found guilty of murdering her in November 2015 and was given a life sentence in prison.

The programme reveals how police officers tracked May down in April 2015 and how they found parts of Ms Woodford's body in his flat.

May had dismembered his victim and had also hidden some body parts in drains around Pontypridd.

South Wales Police carried out an extensive search of Pontypridd town, including searching the River Taff and all drains around the Sardis Road rugby ground.

Former butcher Christopher May was given a life sentence for murdering Tracey Woodford.

We were adamant that we were going to leave no stone unturned in trying to identify and recover the whole body of Tracey Woodford. That is out of respect for the victim and her family. Specialist search and recovery teams entered the river and walked the length of Sardis Road rugby field.

– Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Hurley, South Wales Police

Police footage shows officers entering drains equipped with breathing apparatus and torches.

In one underground chamber, police identified Tracey Woodford’s head, which had been placed on a shelf.

Mamie Stewart's body was found in a cave near Caswell Bay in 1961.

Crime Files, presented by Andrea Byrne, also re-visits the case file of the Gower chorus girl Mamie Stewart.

Her body was found in a cave near Caswell Bay in 1961, 40 years after she had disappeared.

An inquest into her death concluded that she had been killed by her husband George Shotton in 1919. The programme investigates how police identified her body.

It is important to reflect on previous cases - and we can learn so much from previous investigations.

The murder case of Mamie Stewart is fascinating. It is interesting to compare a murder that occurred in 1919 to a similar murder that happened in 2015.

The investigative techniques remain the same, but the advances in technology assist us greatly now. Mobile phones, CCTV, DNA and advanced forensic analysis - none of those would have been present back in 1919.

– Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Hurley, South Wales Police

Crime Files is on tonight at 9pm on ITV Cymru Wales. If you missed last week’s programme you can catch up here.

More on this story