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Suspects in Prostitute Murders Questioned

December 21, 2006

IPSWICH, England (AP) _ Police questioned two suspects in the killings of five prostitutes on Thursday, with deadlines for charging or releasing the men looming in the next two days.

Police have until Friday evening to charge or release their first suspect, identified in news reports as Tom Stephens, 37, who was arrested Monday at his home in Trimley St. Martin, eight miles southeast of the town of Ipswich where all the victims worked.

Suffolk police are also interrogating a 48-year-old man, identified in news reports as Steve Wright. He was arrested Tuesday at his home in Ipswich, and can be detained until Saturday without being charged.

Magistrates granted permission for extended questioning on Wednesday.

All five victims had been working as prostitutes, and their naked bodies were found in rural areas around Ipswich over a period of about 10 days beginning Dec. 2.

Three of the bodies were found near the main road and the rail line between Ipswich and Trimley; the two others were discovered near the same road in areas south and southwest of Ipswich.

On Wednesday, Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr. Peter Dean opened and adjourned inquests into the deaths of Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell, and Annette Nicholls. An inquest into the death of the fifth victim, Gemma Adams, was opened last week.

Clennell, 24, died of compression to her neck, and Alderton, 24, was strangled, a senior pathologist determined. Post-mortem examinations of the bodies of Nicol, 19, Nicholls, 29, and Adams, 25, reached no conclusion on the cause of death.

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