British police confirm river remains are missing prostitute

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Police investigating the deaths of three British prostitutes confirmed Wednesday that human remains found in a river belong to one of the missing women.

"Further exhaustive forensic tests carried out on a small piece of human tissue recovered from the River Aire over the weekend have confirmed that it is that of Shelley Armitage," West Yorkshire police said in a statement.

Armitage, 31, was last seen on April 26, and was one of three women who have gone missing in Bradford in Yorkshire, northwestern England.

The remains of 36-year-old Susan Blamires, who went missing on May 21, were found in the River Aire last week. Susan Rushworth, 43, has not been seen since last June and her body has yet to be found.

Criminology student Stephen Griffiths, 40, has been charged with their murders and appeared in court on Friday, where he dubbed himself "crossbow cannibal". He was remanded in custody until his next hearing on June 7.

Police said Armitage's family had been informed of their discovery and tests were continuing on other items recovered from the river.

The killings in Bradford have evoked memories of the infamous "Yorkshire Ripper", Peter Sutcliffe, who murdered 13 women in the 1970s.

© 2010 AFP

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