Back to basics for police in Teresa De Simone case

Daily Echo: Teresa De Simone Teresa De Simone

DETECTIVES working on the new murder inquiry into the death of Teresa De Simone have admitted they will have to go back to basics to find her killer.

They must first find the original police paperwork from the case, which has so far not been located, nearly three decades after the case was closed.

The investigation team has also said they do not have any suspects for the 22-year-old’s murder.

The DNA profile taken from forensic evidence – which last week proved Sean Hodgson, 58, was not the murderer and led him to being freed after 27 years – has been checked against the national database but has not provided any matches.

Police have also screened it against “key witnesses” already identified and located, and a database of prisoners drawn up in 1996, without finding a match.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil McTavish, heading the investigation codenamed Operation Iceberg, said his team was working with the Crown Prosecution Service and Winchester Crown Court to track down the original police files.

The senior officers from the original case have since died, but the dozen-strong team now working on the inquiry have successfully tracked down several people involved in the investigation in the early 1980s.

Det Chief Insp McTavish would not reveal how many people had been ruled out of the inquiry, but said scores more would be checked against the DNA profile.

“A number of key witnesses have already been located, interviewed and are assisting the investigation,” he said.

“All persons screened to date have been eliminated against the DNA profile. We will screen as many people as we consider necessary.”

He also thanked Teresa’s mother Mary Sedotti, 77 and step-father Michael for their “continued support”, through what has been a “tremendous ordeal” for them.

Teresa, a gas board worker, was raped and strangled to death with her gold crucifix chain in the early hours of December 5, 1979.

Her body was found in her Ford Escort car, parked behind the Tom Tackle pub on Commercial Road, now known as the Encore pub.

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