Mystery Ripon link to Sutton Bank body

A wax reproduction of the unknown woman's head. (S)
A wax reproduction of the unknown woman's head. (S)

POlice have made a fresh appeal to the mystery caller who contacted Ripon police 30 years ago in relation to a body found at Sutton Bank, near Thirsk.

Detectives are appealing for the anonymous caller who rang Ripon police station with a tip-off about the body of a woman known as the “Sutton Bank body” to come forward.

Det Supt Lewis Raw, who is leading the cold case review, said: “We have reissued the appeal for potential family members to come forward and also for the mystery caller who rang the police on August 28, 1981.

“At the time the mystery caller claimed he could not reveal his identity in the interests of national security. Perhaps he is now in a position to come forward and talk to the police.”

The woman’s body was found on a lane between Sutton Bank road (A170) and Scawton but her identity remains a mystery. Her body was exhumed from Malton cemetery in January this year, and forensic scientists have now produced a full DNA profile of the mystery woman. Detectives are checking the details against some 15 families who have come forward claiming the woman could be a missing relative or friend.

Det Supt Raw added: “The DNA profile will now be checked against the people who have come forward to identify any familial link with the deceased.

“However, before any samples are taken from the people who have come forward, research will be conducted around physical similarities between the families and the deceased, including dental records and other physical characteristics.

l If you have any information Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.