Police renew appeal to catch killer who dumped body in Backwell

PUBLISHED: 13:01 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:46 11 June 2019

Shelley Morgan.   Picture; Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Shelley Morgan. Picture; Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Police have renewed efforts to find the killer of a mother-of-two who disappeared 35 years ago.

Ms Morgan's remains were found in woodland off Long Lane in October 1984   Picture: Avon and Somerset ConstabularyMs Morgan's remains were found in woodland off Long Lane in October 1984 Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Shelley Morgan, aged 33, left her home in Bristol's Dunkerry Road at about 8.30am on June 11, 1984, dropped her children at school and headed to Leigh Woods near Ashton Court to spend the day sketching and taking photos.

But, on October 14, children playing in a copse off Long Lane, in Backwell, discovered Shelley's remains. She had been stripped and repeatedly stabbed in a savage, sexually-motivated attack. Her clothes have never been found.

The Major Crime Review Team (MCRT) has released images of two postcards from a calendar sold by a Bristol Hospice charity in the 1980s or 90s - the first shows a scene overlooking the River Avon taken from Bower Ashton - just below the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and the other, St Andrew's Church from the direction of Backwell Hill.

Ms Morgan's remains were found in woodland off Long Lane in October 1984   Picture: Avon and Somerset ConstabularyMs Morgan's remains were found in woodland off Long Lane in October 1984 Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Both areas are places Shelley was heading to on the day she disappeared, and where her body was found five months later.

Police would like to speak to anyone who bought the calendar or who kept the tear-off postcards with these images.

Police hope to trace Shelley's camera, a 35mm Olympus OM20, with the serial number 1032853.

Ms Morgan's remains were found in woodland off Long Lane in October 1984   Picture: Avon and Somerset ConstabularyMs Morgan's remains were found in woodland off Long Lane in October 1984 Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

DS Sarah Barnston, of the MCRT, said: "Shelley was passionately interested in art and the theatre and was attending art classes at the Bristol Polytechnic Art College. She left home that day intending to photograph and sketch in the Leigh Woods area so it's possible her work and the locations she was visiting that day hold the key to her killer's identity. We remain of the belief that her killer must have had access to a vehicle and may have had links through work or other associations to Backwell and possibly the Leigh Woods or Clifton areas of Bristol.

"In addition, Shelley's camera equipment has never been found, particularly an Olympus OM20 camera, which cost £130 at the time. This camera is still popular with collectors and photography students now. The missing 35mm camera will have the serial number 1032853 on it.

Avon and Somerset ConstabularyAvon and Somerset Constabulary

Have you seen this camera? Do you own a camera matching this description and with the serial number 1032853?

"Shelley was carrying the camera, along with a tripod and sketching materials in a large patchwork-style shoulder bag. This bag has never been found, nor has the clothing she was wearing, including red-framed glasses.

"Although there were numerous sightings of Shelley on the day she went missing, in both the Bristol and Backwell areas, none have been confirmed.

Police are hoping to find Sally's Olympus OM20 camera which was never recovered.Police are hoping to find Sally's Olympus OM20 camera which was never recovered.

"Our latest re-investigation has identified new material of interest which may have forensic potential, utilising the latest scientific techniques. We're keeping Shelley's family updated on any progress. Her sister recently flew over from the USA to meet some of our team and we're as committed as ever to solving Shelley's murder and bringing the person or people responsible to justice.

"It's impossible to imagine the pain and anguish Shelley's family have felt over the years and understand the impact her murder has had on her two children, who've been left without a mother for the majority of their lives.

"I would urge anyone with information, no matter how small, to come forward. Loyalties and relationships change over time and there may be someone who didn't feel able to speak to us at the time, but who may be in a position to do so now."

A postcard of Clifton Terraces from Bower Ashton could hold the key to finding the killer. Picture: Avon and Somerset ConstabularyA postcard of Clifton Terraces from Bower Ashton could hold the key to finding the killer. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Anyone with information can contact the police on 101 or at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact-us

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