CAN you help?

Two people have been brutally murdered in Colchester and the killer or killers remains at large.

More than 100 detectives are working to solve the murders of Nahid Al-Manea and Jim Attfield but the public can help also.

The police have issued a list of potential witnesses and who they still want to speak to.

Here are the details of the murders, what help police need from you and how to go about contacting them:


ON Friday, March 28, Jim Attfield, 33, of East Bay, Colchester, went out in the town.

He withdrew several hundred pounds after leaving home.

In the evening he went for some drinks at Tenpin, off Cowdray Avenue.

Later he was drinking alone in River Lodge where he left a half drunk pint of lager shortly after 10pm.

Shortly before 6am the next day he was found stabbed 102 times on a path near Castle Park.

He was attacked near a bench on the riverside path which leads from Lower Castle Park to East Street.

He was close to a lake on one side and an exit from the path at Guildford Road on the other.

Jim, a father-of-five, had suffered life changing injuries after being hit by a car and was being helped by Headway.

He was living in an assisted home and rebuilding his life.

Jim struggled to walk, particularly uphill and had some brain damage.

He loved music, MK Dons Football Club and Colchester.

He was known to sing karaoke at the Goat and Boot pub on East Hill and enjoyed a drink at pubs either side of the path, which he could reach more easily than those up the hills into the town centre.

It was on this path where he was eventually found, dying from horrific and brutal wounds.

Detectives are trying to put together more details of his life before his death and what happened between the hours of 10pm on March 28 and 6am on March 29.

He had not spoken much to his family in the previous six months due to his desire to try and be more independent.

They loved him very much and are obviously distraught.

Detectives want to speak to those people JIm had been in regular contact in the weeks or months before he was murdered.

In particular they are looking for a woman Jim was friends with either via Facebook or at least a female Jim spoke about in status updates on Facebook but did not name.

Det Chief Supt Steve Worron said: “Since Jim’s death we have been trying to reach people he has had contact with.

“There was a woman speaking to Jim on his account - jim.attfield “We believe she went on holiday on March 21 and was due to return on the Saturday, March 29, the day Jim was killed.

“She liked dancing and pottery and may have sung karaoke with Jim.

“We are appealing for this woman to come forward.

“If she is not from Colchester she has certainly been to Colchester.”

Mr Worron said detectives had already spoken to “a significant number of people” who spoke to Jim on social media sites, many of which were centered aound music which he was passionate about.

Any they have not spoken to are urged to get in contact.

Detectives are also very keen to speak to a couple seen on a park bench close to where JIm was eventually found.

It was about 11.30pm on March 28.

A man and a woman were sitting on each end of the bench.

There was a man, who may have been Jim, sitting close by on the grass.

Mr Worron said: “It is unknown whether they knew each other, but they may have been a couple who had an argument earlier in the evening and so were sitting apart, not talking to each other. “The man was white and is of a stocky build. The woman is described as white.

“We have made extensive appeals for these people to come forward and speak to us.

“The information they may have could be vital to the investigation.

“If you think one of the people could be you, please come forward. You may be concerned about the length of time that has passed but don’t let that stop you from getting in touch.

“We need to speak to you to find out about what may have happened to James on the night in Lower Castle Park.

“It could be that you know who the people are. If you do, again please get in touch with us. You may be worried or don’t want to get involved but please don’t turn a blind eye. The people of Colchester can help us to solve this murder and I’m appealing to you directly to call us with any information you may have.”

Those investigating the murder would also like to hear from those who regularly use the path late at night. These could be dog walkers, cyclists, people enjoying a Friday night out in Colchester.

They want to hear about anything out of the ordinary.

Also anyone who has noticed anything markedly different in someone’s behaviour since the murder.

Help the police by calling the incident room on 01245 282103.

Alternatively Crimestoppers is offering a £10,000 reward for information leading to the killer being caught and convicted.

Any information given is anonymous.

Call 0800 555111 if you can help.


ON Tuesday, June 17, Nahid Al-Manea, 31, of Woodrow Way, left home on her way to a lecture at Essex University.

The well educated Saudi Arabian student had come over to England in January to study on an English language course.

She was keen to improve her English to help her studies towards a science based PhD.

Nahid, a Muslim woman who wore traditional Muslim dress, was living with her brother in Greenstead.

They normally walked in together, or she walked in with friends, along the Salary Brook Trail, which runs parallel with Avon Way, and then down to the underpass and over towards the Wivenhoe Park campus.

However this particular day her brother had left earlier for his own classes.

Nahid, like hundreds of other students, began walking in.

The area was quieter than usual with many students having already finished their studies but there were still a considerable number of people using the path.

She left home, at about 10am, and used some of the numerous cut throughs and shortcuts through the estate.

She walked down Stanley Wooster Way and on past the Hunwicke Road shops and onto Hawthorn Avenue.

She was spotted on a CCTV camera subsequently at about 10.20am.

When she reached the junction with Avon Way she would have started on the trail itself.

As she walked towards the Britten Close flats on her right the path veered to the left and she continued towards the crossing for St Andrew’s Avenue.

Here the path became more secluded with bushes and shrubs on both sides before an underpass on steps to traffic lights to cross the road.

Before reaching the crossing she was attacked.

She was stabbed 16 times and died.

Residents in nearby flats were among those who spotted something through the trees and found her.

Cameras in the nearby underpass were broken.

Many people were using the trail that morning, like every morning, and the hundreds of people who have called to help have described witnesses who have not yet come forward.

Det Chief Supt Steve Worron said: “We have had a great response from members of the public but we still have not been able to identify a number of people.

“Searching for them is taking up a great deal of time and I would ask people do the right thing and come forward and contact the incident room.”

In particular detectives want to speak to: - A man who is thought to have been wearing a very distinctive jacket.

It is described as being an Italian designer item, it was slightly longer than waist-length, had brown buttons up the front and two pockets also with buttons.

It was beige in colour, and had a belt which may or may not have had a buckle.

There is a picture of a similar style coat on this page. He was seen on the Salary Brook Trail between 10.20am and 10.40am, shortly before Nahid was found.

He was walking towards the Greenstead estate on the Salary Brook Trail.

He is described as having thick, short black hair on the top of his ears, is aged in between his late teens to 30s, 5ft 6ins tall and was of average build.

- Two cyclists who were seen using the trail on the morning that Nahid was found. The man and woman were cycling together and may have seen Nahid after she was attacked. They were seen by a witness at 10.45am on Tuesday, June 17, coming from the direction of the university towards Greenstead on the Salary Brook Trail. 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 skirt.

- A tall man in a trilby style hat who was seen in the area around the time of the murder. He is described as slim and was wearing a long dark trench style coat. His hat may have been green or dark blue and he had long dark wispy hair.

- A white man, aged between 19 and 23-years-old, with blond hair. He is thought to be English and was wearing a back pack and white headphones. Witnesses describe him as looking like a student.

- A white man also thought to be a student, who had dark, short hair. He was wearing light trousers and was using a phone.

- A black man who was wearing a forward facing cap and a back pack. He was also wearing a dark blue and yellow striped polo top.

- Two women on bikes, who were seen by the hedgerow on the Salary Brook Trail A white woman with long blonde hair, 5ft 10ins tall, of slim build and aged around 19 or 20. She is described as possibly being a foreign student.

- A young man on a bike, also seen on the Salary Brook Trail.

Detectives also want to speak to those who use the trail regularly and have noticed something out of the ordinary.

Mr Worron said: “We would also like to speak to anyone who uses the Salary Brook Trail on a regular basis to see if they have noticed anything different in the weeks since Nahid’s murder. “People may use the trail daily to walk their dogs, cycle, fish or get to and from work or university.

“As people go about their daily routines, people notice things. They may be people who saw the same person everyday but now they don’t see them. What’s changed or is different?”

Her family released a passionate plea for the killer to hand themselves in after the murder of a daughter, sister and friend who was loved dearly.

Crimestoppers has also offered a reward of £10,000 for information leading to the conviction of the killer or killers of Nahid.

Anybody with information call the incident room on 01245 282103 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.