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DETECTIVES have released details of two men they want to question connection with the murder of Nahid Al-Manea and another incident.
Saudi student Nahid was stabbed to death while walking along Salary Brook Trail, in Greenstead, Colchester on Tuesday morning.
Today, Det Ch Supt Steve Worron, who is leading the investigation into the microbiology lecturer’s death, said a man was seen running up Hewes Close, off Avon Way, at 10.56am on Tuesday.
This road is at the far end of Avon Way and the man was seen initially coming out of an alleyway which indirectly links to the Salary Brook Trail.
The man is white, aged between 18 and 25, of medium build and with dark hair.
He was wearing a long sleeve plain hooded top, described as ‘London bus red’ and dark trousers.
Mr Worron added: “Are you this person, does anyone else believe they know who he is?
“If so we need you to get in touch now so that we can eliminate you from our enquiries.”
In another incident, which Essex Police has said could be linked, a man tried to attack a woman jogging near Peache Road, in Colchester at about 10pm on Thursday.
"I also want to hear from anyone who recognises the description of a man who is wanted for questioning by police in connection with an attack on a woman in Peache Road, in Colchester, at around 10pm on Thursday June 19."
The senior investigator said the location of the attack, and some aspects of it, including reports that a knife was involved and the victim was a woman, mean this man is also of interest to the Nahid murder investigation.
The suspect is described as white, in his early 20s, and around 5ft 7in to 5ft 8in tall.
He was of medium build and had a narrow face, appeared unwell, and possibly had fair hair.
He was wearing a black hooded top and possibly had on underneath a dark top with a red logo on it.
Anyone with information on either incident should call 01245 282103.
'Murders could be linked'
INVESTIGATORS have not ruled out officially linking the murders of Jim Attfield and Nahid Al-Manea.
Senior detective Steve Worron said while the two investigations will continue to run separately, though in close proximity, no official link has been made.
He said: “We do not yet know whether the murders of Nahid Al-manea and James Attfield have been committed by the same person or people.
“A criminal profiler from the National Crime Agency has carried out a thorough assessment of all the evidence in connection with both murders.
“A decision has been taken that they remain separate but parallel investigations at this time.
“However the circumstances of both crimes mean that we must consider the possibility that the same killer or killers are responsible.
"We are continuing to explore this line of enquiry, along with many others, and both investigations are being continually resourced and are receiving equal precedence.”
Essex Police have received more than 100 calls from members of the public since Tuesday’s brutal murder.
Officers have also completed about 350 house-to-house inquires.
Mr Worron added: “There is still more we need the public to do to help us and find those responsible for Nahid and James’ deaths.
“I still firmly believe that the answer to these investigations will come from within the Colchester community.”
VIDEO: STEVE BRADING
ESSEX Police have drafted in detectives and police officers from across the East of England and from London.
In particular, the Met Police have sent 30 detectives from its Homicide and Major Crime Command unit.
Officers from the eastern region are helping to patrol Colchester on a 24/7 basis, with a particular focus on secluded open spaces.
Supt Steve Ditchburn said: "The safety of the public remains the absolute priority for Essex Police and additional patrols are now being carried out across Colchester; especially in public open spaces.
"These patrols are to offer reassurance and we would invite people to speak to officers about any concerns they may have or to pass on any information of relevance to either investigation.
"Our advice to people is that we have now had two knife murders in Colchester in less than three months where the motive for the attacks remains unknown.
"Against that background we would advise everyone in the town to remain vigilant."
He added: "Both of these attacks were on lone people who were in locations where it appears no one else was nearby at the time.
"For that reason we would remind people to take sensible precautions to stay safe.
"This includes avoiding any situations in which you could find yourself isolated and alone in a public area."