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New hope in 25-year-long murder inquiry as police chase two new leads

PUBLISHED: 17:00 28 December 2017

Johanna was discovered to be missing on Christmas Eve morning in 1992 when she failed to show up for her newspaper round. Photo: EDP archives.

Johanna was discovered to be missing on Christmas Eve morning in 1992 when she failed to show up for her newspaper round. Photo: EDP archives.

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A heart-wrenching appeal to solve the 25-year mystery of who killed a Norfolk schoolgirl could result in fresh hope for her relatives as police revealed they are chasing two new leads.

The site on the edge of Wayland Wood where Johanna's body was discovered. Photo: EDP archives. The site on the edge of Wayland Wood where Johanna's body was discovered. Photo: EDP archives.

Johanna Young’s body was found in a flooded pit on the edge of her hometown of Watton on Boxing Day 25 years ago.

Despite the tireless efforts of detectives, the teenager’s killer has never been identified.

However a media appeal on the anniversary of her death this year has yielded two phone calls to the serious investigations unit of Norfolk and Suffolk Police.

A spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary said: “We have received two phone calls in relation to the Johanna Young appeal which we will be following up.”

Police at the site on Griston Road where Johanna's body was discovered on Boxing Day in 1992. Photo: EDP archives. Police at the site on Griston Road where Johanna's body was discovered on Boxing Day in 1992. Photo: EDP archives.

There have been three arrests over the years since Johanna’s murder. However there has never been enough evidence to secure a charge against any of the suspects in relation to the case.

Johanna left her home in Merton Road around 7.30pm on December 23, which was a remarkably cold and foggy night. She was last seen in Watton town centre after 8pm.

Johanna’s parents, Rob and Carol, first realised their daughter hadn’t come home when her alarm clock rang at 6am on Christmas Eve but no-one was there to switch it off.

When Johanna didn’t arrive for her newspaper round at an hour later, they called the police.

Johanna Young was killed 25 years ago. Her murder remains unsolved. Photo: EDP Archives. Johanna Young was killed 25 years ago. Her murder remains unsolved. Photo: EDP Archives.

Her body was found several days later after a dog walker spotter her shoes tucked neatly below a bush in Griston Road.

Police are convinced the key to solving the 25-year riddle of her brutal murder lies within the community of Watton.

Det Ch Insp Marie James, of the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigations Team, said: “I’m convinced that somebody out there knows what happened to Johanna and the events that led to her death - and I’m convinced that the answer lies within the community of Watton.

“I would urge those people to please search their consciences, to please come forward and provide answers for the family.”

Anyone who has any information, even if it may seem small or insignificant, is urged to contact the Major Investigations Team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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