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Dales travellers may hold key to three-year mystery

[Tuesday 11 September 2007]
penyghent woman photofit
Police Photfit of unidentified woman

RAIL travellers could hold the key which will unlock an investigation that detectives have worked on for three years.

Three years ago this month the body of an Oriental woman was found on the slopes of Pen-y-ghent in the Yorkshire Dales. The cause of the woman's death is still not clear and she has not been identified.

Detectives believe the mystery woman may have been a visitor to the area. If so, she may have come by train - and if so she could well have come via Leeds or Lancaster railway stations and they want to hear from anyone who remembers seeing the stocky Oriental woman.

Officers are to put up posters at key railway stations asking travellers for any memory or scrap of information that could lead detectives to the mystery woman's identity.

Detective Inspector Pete Martin, who has headed the investigation which began on 20 September 2004, said: "We know an enormous amount about this woman - apart from her identity. We know what she looked like, the kind of upbringing she had, even her medical history, but we don't know what brought her to the North Yorkshire Dales three years ago.

"Maybe she was one of thousands of visitors who come to enjoy the beauties of the Dales every year. Maybe she came by train - and maybe someone remembers seeing her and anyone she may have been with.

"Our efforts to put a name to this poor woman have spanned the world and will continue, and we are seizing this chance to continue our enquiries and to appeal for help in identifying her. Someone must know who this woman is and I believe there may well be someone who knows she is missing. All they have to do is call us.

"We owe it to her to find her name and to notify her family. She must have a family, friends, perhaps a partner - maybe even a child - and we need to find them. She has a name and an identity, and I need someone to come forward and restore them to this unfortunate lady."

The mystery woman was recently buried at Horton-in-Ribblesdale Parish Church, close to where she was found.

Anyone who can help should call the North Yorkshire Police Witness Line on 01423 539334

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