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Human remains may be missing Vietnam woman

Police investigating a possible earlier murder by the man accused of killing Sian O'Callaghan have shifted their attention to a missing woman from Vietnam.

Human remains discovered in an English field over the weekend could be that of Thi Hai Nguyen, who disappeared from Swindon six years ago. The 20-year-old had been staying in temporary accommodation in the Wiltshire town but, despite appeals, is not believed ever to have been traced.

When she went missing, police described Thi Hai as being 5ft 2in tall, slim, with dark hair with blonde streaks.

The discovery of a second woman's remains came as Christopher Halliwell, a 47-year-old Swindon taxi driver, was charged with the murder of Ms O'Callaghan (22), whose body was found on Thursday.





ditch

Mr Halliwell, who remains in custody at Gablecross Police Station in Swindon, was due to appear before magistrates today.

After the arrest at a taxi rank on Thursday of Mr Halliwell, a divorced father of three, Ms O'Callaghan's body was found in a ditch beside a road near Uffington, Oxfordshire. Tests are still being conducted to establish how she died.

About the same time, detectives also started digging in a field on Baxter's Farm, near Eastleach in Gloucestershire, and officers using mechanical diggers uncovered human remains on Saturday.

Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, who is leading the double murder inquiry, said they were believed to be those of a woman who was killed in the Swindon area between 2003 and 2005.

Officers are still carrying out extensive scientific tests on the bones and do not expect to identify her formally until at least today.

Superintendent Fulcher said: "Bones recovered from the site at Eastleach in Gloucestershire are believed to be those of a young woman with an estimated age of between 23 and 30 years. It has been indicated to me that this young woman was taken from the Swindon area between 2003 and 2005.

"The inquiry team are liaising with the National Policing Improvement Agency's serious crime analysis section and the national DNA database in connection with the bones recovered from Eastleach."

Ten forensic science officers spent four days excavating the site and found the body around near the side of a lane.

Ms O'Callaghan went missing after leaving the Japanese-themed Suju nightclub in Swindon's Old Town in the early hours of Saturday, March 19.



breakthrough

Detectives had a breakthrough several days after she disappeared when they found CCTV footage that showed her getting into a green Toyota Aventis car with taxi markings.

The body of Ms O'Callaghan, who lived with her boyfriend Kevin Reape, was found naked in a deep culvert at the side of a country road in Uffington. Mr Fulcher said there was no sign she had been sexually assaulted.

Yesterday he repeated his appeal for anyone out "lamping" (shooting foxes by lamplight) or poaching in the Ramsbury area near Marlborough at any time from 3am on Saturday March 19 to contact police without fear of arrest.

On Saturday night hundreds of people gathered at a vigil in Swindon's Polo Ground. Chinese sky lanterns and balloons were launched and a two-minute silence was held.

hnews@herald.ie