20 year hunt for axe murderer

The Croydon Guardian - by Jane Bruccoleri

15th November 2006

Detectives investigating the brutal murder of a South Norwood private investigator are searching for a mystery woman who gave them vital information shortly after the attack nearly 20 years ago.

Officers say new information that has recently come to light corresponds with what she told police in 1987 and now detectives urgently need to speak with her.

Daniel Morgan, a 37-year-old dad-of-two, was found with an axe embedded in his head in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham on March 10, 1987. Four investigations into his murder have failed to solve it.

It is feared Daniel may have been silenced to stop him exposing a crime network involving corrupt police officers.

Just a few months after Daniel’s body was found and following a Crimewatch television appeal, a woman came forward with information. She met a female police officer in the foyer of East Croydon station on June 1, 1987, speaking about the murder and criminal activity that may have led to Daniel’s death.

However she only ever gave her first name, and now police are desperate to track her down again.

Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Cook, leading the investigation, said: “It is really important that we speak to this woman again as new information that has come to light is relevant to the information she gave us in 1987.”

The search for the woman is the latest in a line of developments which have emerged since the fifth investigation into Daniel’s death was launched earlier this year.

In September detectives found the blue and ivory 1957 Austin Healey car Daniel was restoring at the time of his death. The car had been kept in a lock up garage in Croydon but had disappeared when Daniel’s family went to recover it after he died.

Several new witnesses have also been traced and are currently under the witness protection programme, residing in safe houses.

Daniel’s brother Alastair, who has run a tireless campaign to find his younger sibling’s killer, said that he was “very pleased” about the latest developments in the case.

“I know that the team have been working very, very hard on this case and that they have made good progress,” he said, adding: “I’m impressed by their thoroughness and their determination”.

“The most important thing is obviously the new witnesses that have come forward. We’re cautiously optimistic.”

March next year will see the 20th anniversary of Daniel’s death - something the family have yet to prepare for.

“We don’t know how things are going to develop, it’s been a long battle,” said Alastair.

The woman police want to trace is described as white, of medium build and wearing a white jacket at the time of the meeting.

She is urged to call the investigation team through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and should ask to be put in contact with the detectives dealing with the Daniel Morgan’s murder.

Police say they will treat any information she gives in strictest confidence.

A £50,000 reward has also been offered for information leading to a conviction.

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Follow Alastair Morgan on Twitter

Link to the website of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel
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