Full British police hunt for Frenchwoman's attacker

26th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Aug 26 (AFP) - The parents of Amelie Delagrange, the 22-year-old French woman bludgeoned to death last week, said Thursday their daughter was enjoying life in London and had many friends when her life was ended "by the mad actions of a predator."

LONDON, Aug 26 (AFP) - The parents of Amelie Delagrange, the 22-year-old French woman bludgeoned to death last week, said Thursday their daughter was enjoying life in London and had many friends when her life was ended "by the mad actions of a predator."

Their statement, describing their "indescribable pain" was read out by Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Murphy at the scene of the crime on Twickenham Green in West London.

A passer-by found Delagrange lying in the park with severe head injuries. She died in hospital.

Earlier, a police officer who resembles the blond woman, late Wednesday retraced Delagrange's final steps in a police reconstruction of the student's fatal bus ride home from a wine bar.

The reconstruction of the evening was meant to help trigger the memory of other bus passengers and locals who might have seen her.

The police officer took the same bus, and walked down the same well-lit street before heading across the dark common where Delagrange was struck down.

Her parents, who asked not to be identified by their full names, evoked "Her radiance and joy of living... brutally ended at 22-years by the mad actions of a predator. The news that we have heard has brought us indescribable pain and has devastated our family."

The couple praised the diligence of police in seeking to track down "the perpetrator of this odious act" and appealed to everyone in the area to help the investigation.

They said their daughter had experienced no problems in Britain. On the contrary, they said: "In April 2004, after a short period with the help of a French friend who was herself established in London, she managed to find a place to live and work in a pleasant part of London."

"Amelie very soon made a strong circle of friends with whom she worked and socialised. The warmth of her friends and the English way of life compensated for her family members not being with her, and because of that she envisaged staying longer in England."

Delagrange, originally from a Paris suburb, had come to live in England for the second time to perfect her English, and had been working at a French bakery in a nearby town.

Police believe the killer may have driven around in search of a victim.

The murdered woman's keys were found a 20-minute drive away in the river at Walton-on-Thames, where officers were making an inch-by-inch search for further clues and where they searched an empty house before placing it under seal.

They have also pored over hundreds of hours of closed-circuit television footage.

Detectives are also investigating five other potentially related attacks within a six-mile (10-kilometre) radius within the last 18 months. In each, the victim was blonde and was bludgeoned with a blunt weapon.

Police interviewed one who was attacked nine months ago as they sought to establish whether the crimes had a common perpetrator and motive.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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