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Burton murder probe police making 'significant' strides

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 24, 2014

By Rob Smyth

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MURDER squad detectives searching for the killer of a Burton woman have revealed they have made 'significant' strides in the manhunt.

Lisa Bennett, of Winshill, vanished in May last year and a long-running investigation by officers from West Midlands Police concluded that she had been murdered.

Now, police say forensic experts are undertaking an extensive search of a property in Selly Oak as part of their bid to find out what happened to the 39-year-old in the run up to her death.|

Detective Inspector Warren Hines, who is leading the investigation, said: "We believe Lisa stayed at this address and over the next few days we will continue to thoroughly search every aspect of the property, which involves many of the force's forensic experts supported by leading forensic specialists from across the UK.

"We continue to piece together Lisa's last known movements, including speaking to friends or associates in a bid to find any clues as to what might have happened to her.

"To date we have found nothing to suggest that Lisa had planned to leave or even that she is still alive.

"Detailed investigation shows that she has not accessed any of her accounts or claimed any benefits since last May and we fear the worst.

"We urge people who know Lisa, or have information about her disappearance, to contact us as soon as possible."

Lisa Bennett left the flat she shared with her boyfriend in Selly Oak, Birmingham, on May 9 last year and has not been seen since she visited a nearby Lloyds chemist just hours later.

Detectives were called in after her mum Janet, who lives in Burton, contacted West Midlands Police two weeks later, worried that she had not been in contact.

Lisa was white, around 5ft 8in tall with short dark brown or blonde hair and had a tattoo of a flower on the back of her neck.

A 33-year-old man was arrested and bailed in connection with her murder following a public appeal for information by Lisa's mother and her sister Lindsey in February.

The force has also interviewed another man as part of its investigations, but no charges were brought.

During the last year, significant enquiries have been undertaken by officers and detectives from the force's criminal investigation department but, despite this, police have not been able to find any evidence that Lisa is still alive.

Det Insp Hines added: "Regardless of what has caused her disappearance, Lisa is still missing.

"We need to find her and give her family some answers. That is why it is so important that people call us if they know anything at all."

In a previous appeal, Lisa's mother Janet said: "All Lisa's family and friends who know her in Burton love her to bits.

"All we want to do is find out what has happened to her.

"Even though she can be a bit of a rebel, she is a lovely girl and we all miss her very much."

Detectives have visited Lisa's home town on several occasions and plan to do so again in the coming months as part of their bid to gather more information.

Anyone with information can call detectives on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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