DNA tech closes the net on Michelle Bettles’ killer

7:00 a.m. October 13, 2022

The identification of a full DNA profile of a man who had close contact with Michelle Bettles before her murder comes as police use new forensic techniques to bring her killer to justice.

The profile identified is the result of a pioneering methodology which analyzes 17 different areas of DNA.

Michelle Bettles was last seen in Norwich but her body was found in the woods off the A47 in Scarning, near Dereham
– Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

Known as ‘DNA 17’, this is a more sensitive test than previous methods, meaning it is possible to produce a profile from smaller, lower quality and older.

This offers the police the prospect of helping solve crimes, especially “cold cases”, that were previously thought to be impossible to solve.

Andy Guy, a Major Crimes Review Officer for Norfolk Police, said: ‘The latest DNA can sequence what eye color you have, hair colour, these are the latest advancements we’re talking about.

“What we’re trying to do is take advantage of these new scientific techniques.

Files for the Michelle Bettles murder case

Files for the Michelle Bettles murder case
– Credit: Archant

“We know that Michelle met several men in the last two days of her life and those men never came forward.

“Her body, clothing and jewelry were subjected to forensic DNA analysis and several samples identified profiles of individuals.

“Whoever had contact with her, whoever is responsible for her death, would have left a forensic trace.

“For us, it’s about finding out what were her legitimate contacts and what were the contacts of the person who murdered her.”

Michelle’s autopsy and forensic analysis suggested she had been dead for 24 hours before she was found.

She could have been stored in a dry place, perhaps the trunk of a car or another building, before being brought here after being murdered.

Michelle Bettle CCTV

CCTV shot of Michelle Bettles wearing black leather coat missing before she disappeared
– Credit: Archant

When she was discovered, items were missing, including a distinctive black leather coat she was known to wear, a sweater with a fleece collar, her underwear and some items from her handbag.

• Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Major Crimes Review Team on 01953 423819 or email [email protected]

• You can also access the public portal via the website (mipp.police.uk) or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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