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Body of woman, 19, discovered by riverside.

POLICE have launched a murder investigation after the body of a young woman murdered as she walked home on an unlit riverside footpath was found by a jogger.

The grim discovery was made close to the Madejski Stadium in Reading, Berkshire, on Monday night.

The victim, thought to be 19 years old, suffered multiple stab wounds shortly after leaving the Reading Gate Retail Park, a source added. Her handbag was found on the path, next to the River Kennet, shortly after her body was discovered at 8.30pm on Monday. The victim had been identified and her family informed but had not been formally named last night.

Superintendent Jim Weems, of Thames Valley Police, said they were "keeping an open mind" about the motive for her murder. He told a Press conference: "We believe that the victim may have been walking home from work at the time of the incident."

The area is popular with dog walkers, who described the stretch of footpath, under the A33 dual carriageway, as dangerous to walk down at night. Mr Weems urged any potential witnesses to come forward with information. He said: "I'm confident that someone out there knows how and why this happened."

Detective Inspector Dave Hubbard, from the force's Major Crime Unit, said of the area where the murder took place: "It is not well lit and in the evening is not that well used.

"It was a member of the public who found the lady while out jogging."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 20, 2010
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