Police vow to catch Shelley Morgan's killer on 40th anniversary of her death

Police have issued a fresh appeal in a bid to bring Shelley Morgan's killer to justice 40 years after she was murdered.

Police have vowed to bring the killer of a mother-of-two to justice on the 40th anniversary of her murder.

Shelley Morgan, 33, was stabbed multiple times in a sexually-motivated, frenzied attack after dropping her children off at school in Bristol on 11 June 1984.

The US-born art college student was heading towards Leigh Woods near Ashton Court, where she planned to spend the day sketching and taking photographs.

When she failed to pick up her children from school or return home to Dunkerry Road in Bedminster, the police were called and a missing person inquiry was launched.

Four months later, on 14 October, children playing in a wooded copse off Long Lane on Backwell Hill discovered her remains.

Shelley Morgan's body was found in a wood in Backwell. Credit: PA

A post-mortem examination concluded Mrs Morgan, who was married, had suffered multiple stab wounds and there was evidence the attack had been sexually motivated.

Police launched a murder investigation and the case has been reviewed several times but her killer has never been found.

Detective Inspector Dave Marchant said: “We will never give up trying to identify the person responsible for Shelley’s murder and for leaving her two young children without their mother.

“Forty years may have passed but our resolve has not lessened, and we remain committed to providing her family with answers and, if her killer is still alive, to bring them to justice.

“We know after dropping her children off at school on 11 June 1984, Shelley headed towards Leigh Woods where she planned to take photographs and sketch."

Detective Inspector Dave Marchant speaks to ITV News West Country on the anniversary of Shelley Morgan's death.

He added: “While we can’t categorically say for certain she made it to Leigh Woods, we’ve unconfirmed sightings of her on a bus travelling towards the area and near Ashton Court.

"We know Shelley was wearing a scarlet-coloured top, a white skirt and maroon-coloured tights along with large red circular glasses.

“And we know she had with her a homemade patchwork bag and her 35mm Olympus OM20 camera.

“Neither her clothing or her camera have ever been recovered but we remain hopeful someone may yet come across the camera as it’s still popular with collectors.

“If you own an Olympus OM20 camera from the 1980s with the serial number 1032853 please get in touch.”

Speaking five years ago, Mrs Morgan’s sister Hollie Brian said: “Shelley’s death had a profound effect on our family and her loss has been felt ever since.

“I’ve come to believe that people aren’t really dead until the people who love and remember them have passed also.

“As long as we carry Shelley in our hearts she’ll always be with us but we’re all getting older and the time is going to come when all those doors are closed.

“We beseech you if you know anything about what happened that day back in June of 1984 please come to the police.

“Maybe you were afraid to speak out at the time. Maybe your situation has changed.

“Out of love and respect for my sister, we really want to know what happened and be sure the person who killed her will never hurt anybody ever again.”

Police handout photo of an Olympus OM20 camera similar to one owned by Shelly Morgan. Credit: PA

Mr Marchant added: “It may seem difficult to imagine we can still solve this horrendous 40-year-old crime but with the advancement of forensic science and the passage of time we remain positive.

“Our public appeals are also effective in generating new lines of inquiry and helping us answer previously unanswered questions.

“Five years ago we released images of two postcards which depicted the River Avon in Bristol and St Andrew’s Church, from the direction of Backwell Hill.

“Several members of the public contacted us in response to that appeal and officers were subsequently able to rule out any significance of the postcards to the investigation.

“Loyalties and relationships change over time and there may be someone who didn’t feel able to speak to us at the time or even five years ago, who may be in a position to do so now.

“We believe the locations Shelley was visiting that day hold the key to her killer’s identity.

“It’s highly likely her killer was familiar with the Leigh Woods and Backwell areas and could have had links through work or other associations.

“It’s also more than likely they had access to a vehicle.

“If you have any information, no matter how small or irrelevant you think it might be, please come forward.

“You could have the missing piece which helps complete this case.”