Police to reinvestigate murder of Emma Caldwell

Emma Caldwell's body was found in woodland near Biggar in 2005. Picture: PA

Emma Caldwell's body was found in woodland near Biggar in 2005. Picture: PA

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POLICE are to reinvestigate the murder of a woman whose body was found in woods in South Lanarkshire a decade ago.

Emma Caldwell, 27, was last seen in April 2005 after leaving a hostel in Glasgow.

“The Lord Advocate has instructed Police Scotland to carry out a reinvestigation into the murder of Emma Caldwell”

Crown Office spokesman

A month later her body was found near Roberton in South Lanarkshire. Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland has asked Police Scotland to reinvestigate the case after it was considered by the most senior officers in the Crown Office, whose Cold Case Unit will be involved.

Nobody has ever been convicted of the crime, one of about 70 unsolved murders in Scotland. Four men were charged in 2007 after a 27-month investigation but the case collapsed against Huseyin Cobanoglu, 63, Halil Kandil, 42, Abubekir Oncu, 39, and Mustafa Soylemez, 44.

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The Lord Advocate has instructed Police Scotland to carry out a reinvestigation into the murder of Emma Caldwell.

“The family have been informed of the decision in this case.

“The decision to reinvestigate followed careful consideration of the case by Crown counsel – the most senior lawyers in Crown Office.

“Unresolved homicides are never closed. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service maintains a database of all cold case homicides and cases to which the Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Act may apply.

“The Cold Case Unit works closely with Police Scotland to review these cases to ascertain if there are any new evidential developments, including advances in forensic techniques, which would assist in providing a basis for criminal proceedings.”

Ms Caldwell grew up in Erskine, Renfrewshire. When her elder sister Karen died of cancer in 1998, she became addicted to heroin and worked as a prostitute in Glasgow to pay for her addiction.

She was last seen around 11pm on 4 April 2005 near a women’s hostel in Govanhill. Despite a nationwide search, she was not found for another month, by a dog walker in woods near Roberton, Lanarkshire.

Her mother Margaret told a Sunday newspaper yesterday: “It has been so hard over the years and part of me just wants to let it go, but she was my little girl, is still my little girl, and we need to know the truth. I hope they will properly look at the evidence again.”

Strathclyde Police at the time collected more than 2,700 statements as part of one of their biggest murder investigations.

Detectives tracked down the owners of every Skoda Felicia in the UK after CCTV footage showed a woman getting into one the night Ms Caldwell disappeared. Nobody admitted to being in the Broomielaw area of Glasgow.

As part of the original inquiry, more than 1,000 posters were issued by police, a 60ft image of her was projected on to flats in the Gorbals where she was often seen, and a £10,000 reward was offered for information to help catch her killer or killers.

One of the four Turkish men originally accused of the crime, Huseyin Cobanoglu, was convicted in 2012 of two rapes and three sex attacks on prostitutes in Glasgow.

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