POLICE believe Citizen readers could help solve the murder of Wisbech teenager Alisa Dmitrijeva as they announced an important forensic breakthrough in the case.
Speaking to the Citizen on Thursday DCI Jes Fry, the man leading the murder hunt, said the paper’s readers could provide the vital information needed to capture the 17-year-old’s killer because it is the area’s local newspaper.
He was talking after announcing that early results from the forensic palynologist, who specialises in identifying pollen and spores, has indicated that there is a very rare composition of spores from fungi at the site where Alisa’s body was found.
The pollen types found at the scene, though not unusual in themselves, are also of an unusual distribution.
“The profile of the soil around Alisa’s body is almost as unique as a finger print. Identifying pollen grains and the spores from the fungi in the soil means if we can now find that soil on someone’s footwear or a vehicle we can place them or it at the scene where the body was found,” said DCI Fry.
He said they are still waiting to find out exactly how Alisa, whose body was found on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate on New Year’s Day, died and it could take up to another six weeks to establish a cause of death.
DCI Fry explained it is a very laborious process and it is not unusual for it to take as long as four months to establish a cause of death.
DCI Fry also confirmed that police are carrying out forensic testing on a green P-registered Lexus car they believe could be linked to the college student’s death.
The car, in which Alisa was last seen on August 31 last year, was recovered from a Wisbech scrapyard and has been in a police forensic laboratory since the end of January.
DCI Fry said it has been examined for any blood or bodily fluids linked to Alisa.
“It is not enough to just find DNA as she was in the car. Forensic scientists are examining parts of the vehicle, such as the boot to see if they can find any bodily fluids.
“Now we have the unique soil profile we can examine the vehicle, particularly inside to try to prove that it was at the scene where Alisa was found,” said DCI Fry, who added that it is still not clear whether Alisa, who lived with her father, grandmother and younger sister in Railway Road, died at the site she was found.
Work is being carried out on soil and debris samples found in the car to identify the pollen and spores in them. These will then be compared with the results from the samples taken at Anmer. This may take several weeks to analyse and if a link is identified, it could be a significant step forward in the enquiry.
DCI Fry explained the police were issuing the latest update in a bid to stimulate some sort of discussion.
“People might over hear conversations in the pub or elsewhere that indicate someone has a good knowledge of the scene and would hopefully report that information to police. Obviously if we can put somebody at the scene that could prove a vital part of the jigsaw puzzle,” said DCI Fry.
Anyone with any information relating to the incident should contact the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team at Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800-555-111.