Stabbed teenager 'held for days'

Last updated at 12:30 27 May 2005

A promising teenage singer found stabbed to death on a recreation ground may have been held against her will for almost a week, police said today.

Jeshma Raithatha, who would have turned 18 last week, failed to contact family or friends after she went missing on Monday last week.

Officers said the "bubbly" A-Level student usually kept in constant contact through text messaging, phone calls or in internet chat rooms, but had not been heard of after she was last seen by a staff member at Claremont High School in Kenton, north-west London.

Her body was discovered on Tuesday morning in dense undergrowth near a footpath in Greenford, west London, close to where she lived.

Detective Superintendent Sue Hill, leading the murder inquiry, said it was likely the teenager was killed elsewhere before her body was dumped at the site, 500 yards from her home.

"It is crucial to the inquiry that we find out where Jeshma was from when she was last seen until the time her body was found on Tuesday morning.

"She was a 17-year-old with everything to look forward to, who has been brutally killed. Her friends and family are traumatised.

"This is a devastating, harrowing killing of a beautiful young girl."

Trawling through phone records

Ms Hill said that an item of correspondence was found with Jeshma's body and police confirmed it will be examined as part of their inquiries.

Detectives are also trawling through phone, text messages and internet usage records in an attempt to find any clue to why the teenager may have been killed.

No weapon used to stab Jeshma was recovered at the scene, Ms Hill said, but police would not disclose if a knife had been located elsewhere.

Ms Hill said that a so-called "honour" killing motive was not a current line of inquiry and confirmed the teenager had no known disputes with her family or friends.

"She was a girl who was constantly using MSN, the internet and text messaging. A typical teenager. A bubbly, bubbly girl," she said.

"She wasn't in contact with family or friends after she was last seen a week last Monday and lines of inquiry are looking at her phone records."

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now