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Crimewatch appeal for information on unsolved Eastbourne murder case

BBC’s Crimewatch has issued a fresh appeal for information on the unsolved murder of Jennifer Kiely, a 35-year-old woman who was killed in Eastbourne in 2005. The programme, authorised by the Sussex and Surrey Major Crime Team (MCT), aired on Friday, March 24th and recaps the last known movements of Jennifer before her tragic death in a seafront shelter. Detectives are urging the public to watch the show on iPlayer and come forward with any information that could assist in the investigation.

In the early hours of January 22nd, 2005, a fire was reported in a shelter on the lower promenade at Holywell on Eastbourne seafront. Jennifer’s body was found in the shelter. She had sustained multiple stab wounds, her body had been set on fire, and the pushchair she habitually had with her was on top of her body.

Despite the case being assessed in 2009 and deferred for further assessment, there had been no new intelligence or development. Since 2011, it has been a live case while a forensic line of enquiry is pursued, and Sussex Police will always review cold cases where new lines of enquiry come to light.

Jennifer’s family continues to have the support of Family Liaison Officers from Sussex Police, and her mother, Margaret, who lives in Ireland, has echoed Det Insp Dunn’s appeal. She said, “I think of her every day. But on her anniversary, I can’t stop, I can’t switch off. Somebody, somewhere, knows who is responsible. Just please come forward and let us know.”

One person police have yet to trace and eliminate from the investigation is a man seen walking along the middle of the road at the rear of the Grand Hotel on the night Jennifer was killed. He was described as Eastern European by his accent and appearance, about 5’10-11″, of slim to medium build, with light blond hair, a roundish face with dominant cheek and jaw lines, and a straight nose. He was wearing a dark blue short jacket, which had a collar, and it was zipped right up to beneath his chin. He also wore a pair of grey jeans and white trainers.

Detective Inspector Simon Dunn of MCT said, “While this case remains unsolved, we continue to explore all lines of enquiry in our efforts to seek justice for Jennifer and her family. We are confident someone, somewhere, knows what happened to her that day and we are pleading with anyone with any information to please come forward.”

If anyone has any information that was not shared during the original investigation or since, no matter how minor they may think it is, they are asked to report it online or call 101 at any time, quoting Operation Kittiwake. You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.

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