Milly police investigate 'Costa killer' link

A police officer hunting the killer of schoolgirl Milly Dowler flew out to Spain last night to investigate whether "Costa Killer" Tony King was involved, police said today.

The detective sergeant from the murder squad at Surrey Police is working with three Scotland Yard officers as part of a team probing seven unsolved murders, three rapes and an assault.

No evidence has emerged to link King, 38, also known as Tony Bromwich, to the abduction and killing of 13-year-old Amanda "Milly" Dowler but officers want to eliminate him from their inquiries.

They do not plan to interview King, who has allegedly confessed to killing two young women on the Costa del Sol, but will compile a dossier of his movements.

Fled the country

Surrey Police said they believed King was responsible for a sex attack in Leatherhead in 1997 and had fled the country after CCTV footage of a suspect was shown on BBC's Crimewatch programme.

A Surrey Police spokeswoman said: "An officer from Surrey Police flew out to Spain on Monday, October 13, to conduct background checks on Tony King in connection with an indecent assault in Leatherhead in 1997 and the murder of Milly Dowler in 2002.

"The officer will not be speaking to Tony King at this time. This visit is purely routine.

"There is already an established link between Tony King and the Leatherhead assault but there is not a specific link to the Milly Dowler murder.

"Our understanding is that Tony King has been living in Spain since 1997 and if we are able to establish that he was in Spain at the time of Milly's abduction and murder then we will be able to eliminate him from our inquiries."

Links coordinated

More than 500 people had been eliminated from the Milly Dowler murder inquiry so far.

The spokeswoman added: "We are working closely with the Spanish authorities to assist both their inquiries and our own."

The Metropolitan Police are co-ordinating the links between authorities in the two countries and were making inquiries on behalf of a further six British police forces.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said three officers including a detective chief inspector had flown to Spain last night.

Milly disappeared from a railway station near her home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in March last year. Her body was found 20 miles away in Yateley Heath, Hampshire, six months later.

King was jailed for 10 years in 1986 and branded the Holloway Strangler after committing a string of sex attacks.

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