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Tragic mother pleads for help after second murder.

The mother of murdered schoolgirl Kate Bushell has appealed to the public to help find a killer who stabbed a housewife to death in similar circumstances to her daughter. Mrs Suzanne Bushell spoke out following the fatal stabbing of 41-year- old mother-of-two Mrs Linda Bryant in a remote spot near her Ruan High Lanes home in Cornwall while walking her lurcher dog Jay. It was 11 months ago that 14-year-old Kate had her throat cut as she walked her neighbour's Jack Russell in fields a few hundred yards from her home in Exeter, Devon. Mrs Bryant, whose last walk was returning home from work as a cleaner, died from stab wounds to the neck and throat in the field gateway where she was attacked. Det Supt Mike Stephens, leading the hunt for Kate's killer, has joined the squad of detectives seeking the killer of Mrs Bryant. Just weeks from the November 15 first anniversary of her daughter's murder, Mrs Bushell said: "I am sorry it had to happen again." She appealed to the public to help the police, saying: "Do not hide any information you have, every little bit helps." Mrs Bushell, from Burrator Drive, Exeter, went on: "I feel someone is hiding information possibly because it is a loved one. Just come forward with all the information you have." Earlier, at a police news conference in St Austell, Devon and Cornwall Asst Chief Constable John Essery said it was too early to establish a definite link between the killings but the murders were similar in that the victims were lone females walking dogs who suffered knife injuries inflicted by someone who was possibly a stranger. There were at this time no forensic links between the investigations, but he went on: "We must at the earliest opportunity explore the possibility of a link and treat certain certain aspects of the early investigation as if there was one." As police conducted a fingertip search of the scene for a murder weapon, Mrs Bryant's engineer husband Peter, and daughters Erin, aged 19, and Leah, aged 21, were being comforted by specialist police. Det Chief Insp Chris Boarland, leading the murder hunt, said at the news conference that Mrs Bryant "almost certainly put up a struggle and fought for her life". Police want to trace a man seen talking to Mrs Bryant at 1.45pm on Tuesday, just an hour before her body was found. They were chatting near the Ruan Methodist Chapel, 100 yards from the murder scene. He was described as being in his 30s, 5ft 9ins tall and wearing light clothing. They also want to trace the driver of a white van seen driving out after Mrs Bryant's grey Sierra after she stopped at a garage a mile from her home to buy milk. He was bearded, in his 50s and of large build. Mrs Bryant, who was 5ft 6ins tall, with short, brown hair, was wearing a brown Barbour-style coat, a blue, woollen pullover, dark jeans and brown walking boots. She left home at 1pm for her regular three-mile walk. At 2.40pm a woman holidaymaker from Bristol spotted her body as she drove down the narrow lane to Treworga. Her neighbour Mr Vivian Mitchell, aged 66, said he and his wife Jean often met Mrs Bryant on her regular walks. He said: "We have not got over the shock of what has happened." Police called on businesses with closed-circuit TV camera systems, such as shops and garages, to retain the tapes. Officers have been checking vehicles as far afield as the Devon and Cornwall border.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 22, 1998
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