New appeal to find murderer of Emma Caldwell 12 years on

Murdered 12 years ago, Emma Caldwell.
Murdered 12 years ago, Emma Caldwell.
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Police hunting a suspected serial killer of prostitutes today began a new search of the site where the seventh possible victim was found.

The naked body of Emma Caldwell, 27, was discovered in a ditch in isolated woodland in Lanarkshire by a dog walker in May 2005.

Six other women who also worked the streets of Glasgow were found murdered in the decade before her - sparking fears of a serial killer.

Police ruled out the theory and said prostitutes were statistically more likely to encounter violence.

But they faced criticism that they failed to fully investigate the deaths and yesterday began a detailed forensic search of Emma’s last resting place.

A specialist team began exploring the woodland site in Roberton, near Biggar, South Lanarkshire, in a bid to recover items belonging to her.

The operation was launched on the 12th anniversary of the day Emma was last seen alive in April 2005.

Emma’s mother Margaret Caldwell thanked the police and made a fresh appeal to find her daughter’s killer.

She said: “Today is always a difficult day for my family, as we are usually at home thinking of Emma.

“Every day I think of Emma, every day I grieve for her, as a mother I know my pain will never end.

“But I am here to make a direct appeal to those who know or suspect who the killer is.

“Please do the right thing, as long as the killer is still out there another life could be in danger.

“If you are the one who took Emma’s life then I ask you to come forward, living with the guilt of taking her life must be dreadful.

“But if you have no conscience, then be aware my family and I will never give up on fighting for justice on Emma’s behalf.

“We can do no less for we love and miss her every day, not just today.”

Emma’s clothing and the belongings she had with her on the night she went missing have never been found.

The new search aims to recover any of those items, which also bring clear forensic opportunities that could assist the inquiry.

Police said they were keen to speak to anyone who uses this area, perhaps walkers, joggers, dog walkers or courting couples.

Detective Superintendent David McLaren said: “Finding the person or people responsible for Emma’s murder is a priority for us.

“Emma would have been 39 in October this year and it is important that her mother, Margaret finds peace after all this time.

“We have been working tirelessly to find that vital piece of evidence that will allow us to put the person that killed Emma behind bars and I firmly believe that there are people out there who can assist.

“The area where Emma was found is crucial in this investigation.

“I’m particularly keen to hear from anyone who has been involved in prostitution and who may have been taken to the woods near Roberton.

“It’s a remote location and would take around 40 minutes to travel there from Glasgow city centre on the M74.

“Even if you can’t be sure if it’s the same location you were taken to, please get in touch if someone has taken you out with the city centre.

“I understand that some people are reluctant to come forward but we are not looking to cast judgments on people, I am only interested in finding information that could help us.

Detectives now believe Emma may have been seen at the bottom of Argyle Street in Glasgow on the night she went missing on Monday 4 April 2005.

Previously, the last recorded sighting of her Emma was on Butterbiggins Road in the south-side of the city.

Detectives think she may have got into a black saloon style vehicle similar to a BMW which it may have originated from the Dumfries area.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 or anonymously Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.