Investigation into 1999 murder of teenager making ‘good progress’, police say

A team of 25 people is working full time on an investigation into the murder of a 17-year-old girl who went missing on her way home from a nightclub in 1999, with “good progress” being made, a detective has said.

It comes almost a year after Suffolk Police arrested a man on suspicion of Victoria Hall’s murder before releasing him under investigation, which continues to be his status.

Victoria’s naked body was found in a ditch in Creeting St Peter on September 24, 1999, five days after she was last seen alive.

Suffolk police reopened their investigation in 2019 after receiving fresh witness information, which they would not expand on.

A man was arrested on July 28 2021 on suspicion of murder.

No details were given about his age or where he was arrested, and he was later released under investigation.

He had not previously been arrested as part of the inquiry, the force said.

The size of the investigation team has grown over the past three years, with 25 dedicated officers and police staff now working full time on the case.
The size of the investigation team has grown over the past three years, with 25 dedicated officers and police staff now working full time on the case.

As part of the reinvestigation, the Operation Avon team has taken statements from more than 500 witnesses, reviewed more than 43,000 documents and 9,000 exhibits and viewed more than 3,500 hours of CCTV footage.

Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Smith said: “The investigation into the tragic murder of 17-year-old Victoria Hall in 1999 remains a high priority for Suffolk Constabulary.

“The inquiry team are totally committed to bringing the person or persons responsible for her dreadful murder to justice.

“This is a challenging and complex case which has amassed extremely high volumes of information and evidence over the preceding 23 years.

“There are now 25 staff working on this investigation full time and as a consequence we are making good progress.

“This is demonstrated by the hundreds of witnesses that have been spoken to, the tens of thousands of documents and exhibits that have been reviewed, and the thousands of hours of CCTV footage that has been viewed.

“We are in frequent contact with Victoria’s family to keep them updated as to our progress and as ever are truly grateful for their patience and for the support they provide our investigation.

“They are an amazing family.

“It will be 23 years in September since Victoria was murdered and we will continue to pursue all new lines of inquiry.

“I once again urge anyone with information that could assist us to come forward, it is never too late.”

Victoria, from Trimley St Mary, left home on the evening of September 18 1999 for a night out with a friend at the Bandbox nightclub in Felixstowe.

The girls left the club at around 1am the following morning and parted ways at around 2.20am, yards from Victoria’s home.

That was the last time she was seen alive.

Her parents woke in the morning to discover their daughter had not returned home and a missing persons inquiry was launched.

Her body was found five days later in Creeting St Peter, around 25 miles from where she was last seen.

None of her clothing or possessions have been found.

In 2001, a businessman stood trial charged with Victoria’s murder but was unanimously cleared by a jury within 90 minutes.

Detectives continue to ask for anyone with information about Victoria’s death to contact the Major Investigation Team.