TWO cyclists could be key witnesses to the murder of Saudi student Nahid Al-Manea and may have even seen her killer.
The pair were seen cycling along the Salary Brook Trail, from the direction of the university, at 10.45 am on Tuesday.
It is believed they could have cycled past the Essex University student who was attacked between 10.20am and 10.40am.
The man is described as being olive skinned with dark hair. He was in his early 20s and looked tall and slim.
The woman is thought to be in her 20s with long dark hair. She was wearing what has been described as a flowing pattern tiered shirt.
Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron said: "I would appeal for these witnesses to come forward and help us with the investigation into Nahid’s murder. They may have seen Nahid before she was attacked and they may have even seen her killer. I would also urge anyone who may know who these people are to contact us and tell us who they are.
"Please do get in touch with us. Any information they have no matter how small could help us.”
He also asked people to spread the word about the appeals to friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues
Ms Al-Manea's body has now been flown back to Saudi Arabia.
Thousands of people turned out to mourn the death of the microbiology lecturer, who was stabbed to death on Colchester's Salary Brook Trail on Tuesday morning.
The number of people who went to her burial is usually only seen when kings or princes die.
Nahid, 31, was a lecturer at Al-Jouf University and had left in April to study English at Essex University.
Her body was repatriated to the Al-Jouf region of northern Saudi Arabia, and she was buried on Saturday.
Investigators are today continuing to search lakes on the Salary Brook Trail for clues relating to Nahid's murder.
The student was stabbed 16 times on the trail on Tuesday morning.
Essex Police are not officially linking the murders of Jim Attfield and Nahid Al-Manea, but they "are mindful of similarities".
Jim, 33, was found fatally wounded after being stabbed 102 times near to Lower Castle Park at 5.45am on March 29.
Nahid, 31, was stabbed 16 times while walking from her home in Woodrow Way, to Essex University on Tuesday morning.
SEE TODAY'S GAZETTE FOR THE LATEST ON THE ESSEX POLICE INVESTIGATION IN NAHID'S MURDER