Police hoping public can help them solve the mystery surrounding identity of woman found in UEA lake

Following the discovery of a women's body in the lake at the UEA Detective Chief Inspector Dennis Lacey and UEA Registrar Brian Summers held a press conference. 
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY Following the discovery of a women's body in the lake at the UEA Detective Chief Inspector Dennis Lacey and UEA Registrar Brian Summers held a press conference. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Friday, August 2, 2013
2:43 PM

Help us identify this woman - that is the message to the public from detectives trying to establish what happened to a woman after her body was recovered from a lake at the UEA yesterday.

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Officers have revealed the woman, believed to be aged in her late 30s to early 40s, had short dark brown hair with a natural wave, which shows signs of being dyed auburn/dark red. The woman is 5ft 7 and of slim build.

The woman’s body, which was clothed in day wear, was found floating face down in the water by an angler at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Broad at about 8.40am.

A Home Office post mortem carried out at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital proved inconclusive and toxicology tests will now be carried out to help establish the cause of death.

Inquiries continue to establish the circumstances surrounding the discovery, including the examination of local CCTV cameras, including footage from a camera positioned near to the lake.

Detective Chief Inspector Dennis Lacey, who is leading the enquiry, urged anyone with information concerning the woman’s identity to come forward.

He said: “Efforts to identify the woman have so far been unsuccessful. We’ve carried out forensic enquiries and these have failed to reveal the woman’s identity.

“A preliminary search of the lake area was carried out yesterday and nothing, including personal belongings, was recovered which could assist with the case.

“We hope that by releasing details of the woman’s description someone will come forward with information. I would also ask anyone who is concerned about a friend or relative who may not have been seen or heard from recently who matches this description to get in touch with police.”

The death continues to be treated as unexplained and the police cordon was lifted at 12.30pm today.

Police have confirmed the incident is not linked to any known missing people cases in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and enquiries are now being made nationally with the missing person database.

UEA officials have also carried out checks as far as they are able to and have accounted for staff, students and visitors on summer schools and conferences. Officials are also not aware of anyone reported missing.

But regardless of who the person is, have been urged to fly their flag at half mast as a mark of respect.
The university received a message from @Lemel_p who tweeted “regardless of whether the person found is a student or staff member shouldn’t the flag be at half mast today?”

A spokesman for the UEA has today confirmed the request is being “considered” but they are awaiting more details from the police before deciding when might be appropriate.

A number of former UEA students have taken to Twitter to express their shock at yesterday’s discovery, including @ryandebruin who tweeted: “WTF? Body found at the lake I lived opposite last year?” and @emma_thompson10 who wrote: “Can’t believe a bodies been found in the lake outside my flat from last year.”

Meanwhile the UEA has said it is “continuing to assist the police” with their inquiries following the discovery of a body in the Broad.

- Check back to this website for more information throughout the day.

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