Victoria Hall murder inquiry update | Suffolk Constabulary

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Victoria Hall murder inquiry update

Op Avon - Victoria Hall

Detectives are extremely pleased with the initial response from members of the public, following the renewed appeal into the 20-year-old unsolved murder of a teenage girl from Trimley St Mary, with dozens of calls having been received by the investigation team.

Victoria Hall, aged 17, was last seen alive at around 2.20am on Sunday 19 September 1999, near to the junction of High Road and Faulkeners Way in Trimley St Mary. She was just yards away from home.

Victoria and a friend had spent the night at the Bandbox nightclub in Bent Hill, Felixstowe, leaving at around 1am. They then went get some food at the Bodrum Grill in Undercliff Road West, before beginning the walk home.

When Victoria’s parents woke-up that morning and discovered that she had not returned home, the police were called and a missing person inquiry commenced.

Five days later, on Friday 24 September, Victoria’s naked body was found in a ditch beside a field by a dog walker in Creeting Lane, Creeting St Peter, approximately 25 miles away from where she was last seen. None of her clothes or possessions have ever been found.

Last week, upon the 20th anniversary of Victoria’s disappearance, Suffolk Police revealed that the investigation into her murder – known as Operation Avon - was now a live inquiry again and being fully reinvestigated by a new team of officers, after fresh information had been received that was not previously known.

Detectives also released additional details regarding Victoria’s belongings that she had about her person the last time she was seen alive, along with CCTV footage captured during the month following her death of individuals at the field in Creeting St Peter where her body was found.

Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Millar, the Senior Investigating Officer, said: “I have been delighted with the response from members of the public since we revealed that Victoria’s murder was being reinvestigated.

“In the week since we launched the appeal we have received over 50 calls, many of which have provided us with further new lines of enquiry.

“These are now being actively pursued, alongside the other information we had already received, and other evidence we are uncovering as we methodically review all the existing files and material.

“This was a high-profile case at the time and the fact that people are still coming forward with new information after the passage of 20 years, is great news for the investigation and Victoria’s family. 

“We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and urge anyone who may have information and has not yet be in touch, to contact us without further delay.”`

Last week Suffolk Police reissued images of the dress, jacket & shoes that Victoria was wearing the last time she was seen and also a wooden hair slider that had not previously been released. These can all be seen in the gallery below. 

Additionally, detectives revealed further details regarding the belongings Victoria had on her that night, which are as follows:

  • a black oval shaped New Look purse with a zip fastener, containing a house key on a distinctive fob with ‘Vicky’ across the top and ‘Victoria’ down the sides
  • a Rimmel lipstick in a black plastic case, the colour of which is believed to have been ‘Zorro’
  • the inner soles of one or both of Victoria’s shoes had been fixed with Sellotape.

CCTV footage was also issued which had not been previously been released. This was captured at the entrance to the field in Creeting St Peter the month after Victoria’s body was found, during October 1999.

The first clip shows a van stopping at the field entrance, before reversing and then driving forward to the entrance again and stopping, at which point the driver gets out and enters the field, appearing to look around at the ground near the entrance point.  

The second clip shows a group of people with torches going into the field area under the cover of darkness.

Anyone with information should contact the Major Investigation Team, either via our online portal here: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/3637020112A02-PO1 or by calling the Incident Room direct on: 01473 613513 and quoting Operation Avon. 

Alternatively, contact the charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Previous release | 19 September 2019

Op Avon - Victoria Hall

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl from Trimley St Mary, as Suffolk Police reveal that the investigation into her murder has been reopened.

Victoria Hall left home on the evening of Saturday 18 September 1999 to go for a night out with a friend at the Bandbox nightclub in Bent Hill, Felixstowe.

The girls left the club at around 1am the following morning, Sunday 19 September, and stopped to get some food at the Bodrum Grill in Undercliff Road West, which is on the roundabout junction with Garrison Lane. 

They then began walking home to Trimley St Mary, parting at around 2.20am on High Road, near to the junction of Faulkeners Way. Victoria was just yards away from home. This was the last time she was seen alive.

When Victoria’s parents woke-up the next morning and discovered that she had not returned home, the police were called and a missing person inquiry commenced.

Five days later, on Friday 24 September, Victoria’s naked body was found in a ditch beside a field by a dog walker in Creeting Lane, Creeting St Peter, approximately 25 miles away from where she was last seen. None of her clothes or possessions have ever been found.

A murder inquiry was then launched under Operation Avon, which at the time was one of the largest investigations ever undertaken by Suffolk Constabulary. Despite this, and after the passage of 20 years, Victoria’s killer has still not been brought to justice.

Operation Avon is a now a live investigation again being run by a new team, after receiving fresh information not previously known in the inquiry and new lines of enquiry are actively being pursued.

Suffolk Police are again issuing images of the dress, jacket & shoes that Victoria was wearing the last time she was seen and also a wooden hair slider that has not previously been released. These can all be seen in the gallery below. 

Additionally, detectives can reveal for the first time further details regarding the belongings Victoria had on her that night, which are as follows:

  • a black oval shaped New Look purse with a zip fastener, containing a house key on a distinctive fob with ‘Vicky’ across the top and ‘Victoria’ down the sides
  • a Rimmel lipstick in a black plastic case, the colour of which was ‘Zorro’
  • the inner soles of one or both of Victoria’s shoes had been fixed with Sellotape.

CCTV footage is also being issued which has not been previously released. This was captured at the entrance to the field in Creeting St Peter the month after Victoria’s body was found, during October 1999.

The first clip shows a van stopping at the field entrance, before reversing and then driving forward to the entrance again and stopping, at which point the driver gets out and enters the field, appearing to look around at the ground near the entrance point.  

The second clip shows a group of people with torches going into the field area under the cover of darkness.

Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Millar, the Senior Investigating Officer, said: “Suffolk Police has not given up - and will never give up - on catching the person or persons responsible for Victoria’s murder.

“New information and lines of enquiry that were not previously known to us are being actively pursued by the Major Investigation Team, renewing hope that Victoria’s killer will be caught.

“By reissuing the images of Victoria’s clothing and providing the additional information about some of her other belongings, I am hopeful that this may jog someone’s memory who could have seen them deposited somewhere.

“I am also extremely keen to trace the people in the CCTV images at the field in Creeting St Peter – I would really like to know who they are and what they were doing there.

“If you provided information in the original inquiry, think back and come forward if there is more you can tell us, or if you did not come forward at the time with information you had, now is the time to do so.

“This was an horrific crime committed against a girl who was two weeks away from celebrating her 18th birthday. Victoria’s adult life was just about to begin when she was torn away from her loving family, who have now been without her for a longer time than they had her – no one should have to experience the pain that they have.  

“We now have another opportunity to obtain justice for Victoria and her family. The killer has lived with their guilt for the past 20 years and fresh information could make a significant difference to helping us solve this murder. It is never too late to contact us.”

Anyone with information should contact the Major Investigation Team by calling: 01473 613513, or via our online portal here: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/3637020112A02-PO1

Alternatively, contact the charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org