Mystery woman found dead 14 years ago may have been ‘Thai bride’

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Detectives investigating the death of a woman whose body was found in a remote hillside stream 14 years ago believe she may have been brought to the UK as a “Thai bride”.

The remains of the woman, who is believed to have been from south-east Asia, were discovered by a group of walkers on the Pennine Way in North Yorkshire between Pen-y-Ghent and Horton, Ribblesdale, on September 20 2004.

Cold case reviewers believe she may have been killed and transported to the stream, possibly by a 4×4, North Yorkshire Police said.

A cause of death has never been established and an inquest in May 2007 recorded an open verdict, with a post-mortem examination indicating she had been dead between one and three weeks before her body was found.

The force added the circumstances surrounding the death have “remained suspicious”.

Adam Harland, who is managing the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Police cold case review team, said she had been in the UK for at least two years before her death and may have arrived as a “Thai bride”.

He said: “This term does not necessarily mean the woman comes from Thailand but that she is a lady who has taken up a relationship with a white gentleman and has come back to live in the UK in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

“That would probably mean that her partner is older than her and quite likely has led a more solitary, individual life prior to their relationship taking place.

“Whoever her partner was in the last days of her life is the person we need to locate and speak to.”

Mr Harland added tests on the woman’s hair suggested she had settled in north Lancashire or south Cumbria.

He urged people from those areas to consider whether they can recall a woman from south-east Asia who had been in a relationship with a local man.

Mr Harland said it is likely those who knew the woman, who is believed to have been aged between 20 and 40, were told the relationship had ended and that she had returned home.

She has been described as 4ft 11in, with dark-brown shoulder-length hair, weighing around 10 stone.

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