Police in Wiltshire began the painstaking job of forensically testing a hoard of clothes mysteriously buried near a pond – amid fears they may have found the trophy stash for a notorious killer.
They appealed for anyone who knew anything about why the clothes had been buried around 100 yards from a pond in Ramsbury, so they could rule out any potential links to Christopher Halliwell, a taxi driver currently serving life in prison for murder.
Last week, the boots belonging to Sian O'Callaghan, a Swindon office worker he killed in 2011 after she got into his taxi, were found in the pond, and police scouring the surrounding area discovered the hoard this week.
Detectives have long feared Halliwell may have more victims – when he was initially detained, he led police to the shallow grave of a second victim, Becky Godden-Edwards, but a procedural bungle meant he has never been prosecuted over her death.
Police spent yesterday draining the pond and conducting a fingertip search of the silt at the bottom to see if anything else had been dumped there, and admitted they found it 'very strange' why the clothes would be buried there.
Now speculation is mounting about a host of cases involving missing women in the Swindon area, as detectives question whether the 50-year-old taxi driver had other victims.
Four young women remain missing from Swindon where Halliwell snatched Sian off the street before her near-naked body was found five days later in a shallow grave.
Sally Ann John, 24, disappeared in September 1995 but despite continuous appeals she has never been seen.
Sandra Brewin, of Peatmoor, disappeared from her parents' home in 1994 aged 21 just months after she became penfriends with a man who was in prison in Oxfordshire.
Other unsolved missing person cases in the area include college worker mum-of-four Linda Razzell, 41, who disappeared from Swindon in 2002.
Her husband, Glyn, was convicted of her killing but continues to protest his innocence.