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Gloucestershire Business News

Murder suspect released on bail

A 66-year-old man arrested last week on suspicion of the murder of a Bristol woman in Gloucestershire thirty years ago has been bailed by police pending further enquiries.

Gloucestershire Police announced last Tuesday, April 4, that the man, who lives in the county, had been arrested that day as a result of 'new and significant' information about the death of 32-year-old sex worker Carol Clark at Sharpness on March 28, 1993.

Today, a force spokesperson said the man has since been bailed to a later date while the investigation continues.

Carol Clark was strangled, her neck broken and her body dumped in reeds and undergrowth at the side of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

She had lived in Picton Street in the Montpelier area of Bristol and was last seen getting into a car there at around 11.30pm on Friday, March 26, 1993.

Two days later, on Sunday, March 28, 1993, a dog walker found Carol's body close to the water at Sharpness Docks and a murder investigation was launched.

The case was recently reopened after Gloucestershire Constabulary officers working as part of the South West Major Crime Investigation team received 'new and significant' information.

**At Carol's inquest in February 1995 the coroner was told that police had failed to track down her murderer despite interviewing more than 3,500 people.

A verdict of unlawful killing by a person or persons unknown was recorded on Carol at the Gloucester inquest after coroner David Gibbons heard that her fatal neck injury could not have been accidental or self-inflicted.

Detective Inspector Wayne Murdock said at the inquest that her body was reclining at the edge of the canal with her lower legs immersed in the water.

She was wearing only her bra, pants and cowboy-style boots and the rest of her clothing had never been found, he said.

Police had also failed to establish when and where she ate her last meal, which consisted of potato, onions and peas, he said.

Carol was said to have a "complex lifestyle" which involved using several aliases - Kate, Caroline and Charlotte - and keeping a flat in Bath as well as the Montpellier home she shared with boyfriend Brian Clarke.

She was dependant on the heroin substitute drug, methadone. Her lifestyle included strong connections in the Wiltshire area and a male friend in Clifton, Bristol.

Her Bristol home was in a well-known location for prostitution.

A note in her writing was found at her home after her disappearance and in it she said she was going out to look for a client and if she found one she would be back about 2.30am.

She never returned and her boyfriend reported her missing at 4.20am that day.

Police enquiries had included interviewing the crews of ships from Greece, Russia, Poland and Antigua which were in port at the time. Interpol and the Russian police had also assisted with enquires abroad.

Officers also liaised with other police forces investigating the murders of prostitutes - two in Strathclyde in October 1992 and April 1993 and one in Norfolk in November 1994.

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