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East Harling murder happened close to spot of unsolved rape on West Harling Heath in 1994

PUBLISHED: 12:43 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 18:30 09 August 2017

Picture of West Harling woodland where rape of 71-year-old woman occurred in 1994. Pictures: SONYA BROWN

Picture of West Harling woodland where rape of 71-year-old woman occurred in 1994. Pictures: SONYA BROWN

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The brutal murder of an 83-year-old dog walker in broad daylight happened close to where a woman was raped more than 20 years ago.

East Harling murder police press conference with chief superintendent Mike Fawcett and corporate communications manager Nicola Atter. Picture : ANTONY KELLYEast Harling murder police press conference with chief superintendent Mike Fawcett and corporate communications manager Nicola Atter. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Police are continuing to investigate the murder of the married father of two, who has not been named but is from the local area, after his body was found in woodland near to the Fiveways junction just outside East Harling.

The murder scene is not far from West Harling Heath where a 71-year-old woman was the victim of a brutal sex attack in June 1994.

The victim had been walking her little white highland terrier in a well known area called ‘The Gallops’.

As she was returning to her car, parked at the entrance of Fire Ride 79 by the local road, a young man approached her. He then carried out a vicious sex attack on her which left her badly bruised and beaten, he also attacked her dog before leaving the scene.

East Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLYEast Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

When asked whether the rape, which is one of Norfolk Constabulary’s unsolved cold cases, was linked to the murder, Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett said the Major Investigation Team (MIT) would be looking at “all avenues” of inquiry as part of the current probe.

June 7 1994, the day the sex attack took place, was warm and sunny and a number of people came forward to help the police to try and identify the attacker.

MORE: East Harling Murder: What we know and what we don’t know

He was described as aged around 16, 5’6” to 7” tall and of medium build with dark brown hair that was distinctive and described then as having a ‘mop-head’ style (shaved sides with straggly hair on top).

He was seen riding about the area prior to the attack on a dark coloured mountain bike.

But despite a major investigation and a local campaign of eliminating young men fitting the profile of the attacker forensically, the attacker was never identified.

MORE: Fifty police officers involved in hunt for killer after brutal murder of dog walker, 83, in woodland near East Harling

Since 1994 a number of reviews have been conducted to identify the attacker by the use of DNA but it remains, to this day, an unsolved case.

In January 2007 it emerged that new lines of enquiry were being pursued following a fresh appeal.

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