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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 December 2006, 08:57 GMT
Women murdered in Suffolk
Police in Ipswich are continuing their investigations into the murders of five women from the town centre who were working as prostitutes.

Friends and family have been describing what the women were like.


The body of 19-year-old Tania Nicol was found on 8 December, after she disappeared on 30 October.

Miss Nicol was local to Ipswich, having grown up on a housing estate on the outskirts of the town.

Tania Nicol
A childhood picture of Tania Nicol who lived in an Ipswich suburb

She lived there with her mother, Kerry, and her younger brother.

She had dreams of being a pop star while a pupil of Chantry High School but ended up in a series of low-paid jobs.

Her devastated father, Jim Duell, made an appeal to the public to help catch the killer of his "loving and sensitive" daughter.

"Unfortunately drugs took her away into her own secret world, a world that neither of us were aware of," said Mr Duell.

The killer, he added, could not take away their courage, fortitude and memories.

Miss Nicol was reported missing by her mother, after she had not heard from her for 48 hours.

She was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and pink high-heeled shoes when she was last seen.

Her body was later discovered in a pond at Copdock, near Ipswich.


Gemma Adams' body was found on 2 December. She was 25. Her partner reported her missing on 15 November, having walked with her into Ipswich town centre, where she had gone to work as a prostitute.

Miss Adams lived in a suburb of the town and she grew up in Kesgrave, a village close to Ipswich.

Gemma Adams
Gemma Adams was 25 when she was murdered
Her father Brian is a 53-year-old businessman and during her childhood Gemma enjoyed horse riding and learning the piano.

She left school at 16 and did a course in health and social healthcare at Suffolk College, Ipswich.

But around a year later, she was using heroin and also became estranged from her family who attempted to get her into rehabilitation.

It is thought she turned to prostitution to fund her drug habit.

Her father said: "Gemma was a normal happy girl until we lost her to drugs when she was about 17. We had lost contact with her for a couple of years.

"She was bright and bubbly and full of fun. That's the only way to describe her. She was good company, bright and intelligent."

He said his daughter had lost her job at an insurance company before drifting into prostitution.

He continued: "It's every parent's worst nightmare. Once your child is involved with hard drugs your heart is already broken."

Miss Adams was wearing a black waterproof waist-length jacket, blue jeans, a red top and white and chrome Nike trainers at the time of her disappearance.

Her naked body was found in a stream at Hintlesham near Ipswich.


Anneli Alderton was found dead on 10 December. Suffolk Police said she had been asphyxiated. Police also revealed that she had been three months pregnant - although they said that was not relevant to the inquiry.

Anneli Alderton
Anneli Alderton was asphyxiated, Suffolk Police have said
A passing motorist reported seeing her naked body in an area of woodland at Nacton, three days after another motorist mistook it for a mannequin and failed to report it.

The 24-year-old was known to work in Ipswich as a prostitute.

She was a popular student at Copleston High School and had ambitions of being a model.

Her behaviour began to worry friends when her father, Roy, a computer programmer, died of lung cancer.

Miss Alderton, who had a son, had lived in Cyprus and was a fluent Greek speaker. She had been jailed three times for persistent theft.

A woman who works as an escort and gave her name as Emma said she had known Miss Alderton for seven years.

"She was a lovely girl, very kind-hearted and would do anything for anybody," she said.

But the "wrong crowd" introduced her to crack when she was about 13 and eventually she turned to prostitution, she added.

She was last seen on the 1753 GMT train going from Harwich to Colchester on 3 December, before boarding another from Manningtree to Ipswich.


Paula Clennell's body was discovered on 12 December in woodland near Ipswich.

Paula Clennell
Paula Clennell's father did not know she was a prostitute

The 24-year-old had not been seen since very early in the morning on 10 December.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had been strangled.

She apparently predicted her own demise by 25, such was the extent of her drug problem.

The sex worker's parents divorced 10 years ago and she was schooled in a referral unit.

Miss Clennell's father Brian, who lives in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, said he had not known his daughter worked as a prostitute.

He described Paula as being "like any other young woman", who had a "kind-hearted and loving soul".

She was last seen at 0020 GMT on 10 December, wearing a navy blue anorak with a horizontal light blue band across the chest and one sleeve.


Police confirmed on Friday that the fifth woman who has been murdered was missing Annette Nicholls, who also worked as a prostitute.

Miss Nicholls, 29, had been missing since 4 December. Her body was found on 12 December near Levington.

Missing Ipswich woman Annette Nicholls
Annette Nicholls went missing on 4 December

She had been a devoted single mother of an eight-year-old son and had wanted to be a beautician. Miss Nicholls began taking heroin three years ago.

Friends have suggested Ms Nicholls was embarrassed about working on the streets but it is believed that she was quite well-known.

She was reported missing by her family, who had become concerned after seeing the publicity surrounding the murders of Tania Nicol and Gemma Adams.

She was 5ft 3in (1.59m) tall and slim, with long brown hair.

Anyone with information that would help Ipswich detectives is urged to contact the incident room on 0800 096 1011 or speak to Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.


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