Corstorphine body: Police scour hotel CCTV for clues

Flowers are tied to a tree near to the area where the body was found on Corstorphine Hill. Picture: Jane Barlow
Flowers are tied to a tree near to the area where the body was found on Corstorphine Hill. Picture: Jane Barlow
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OFFICERS investigating the murder of a woman whose dismembered body was found on Corstorphine Hill are scouring hotel CCTV footage in a bid to establish if she was visiting the Capital.

Detectives have shifted the focus of their inquiries onto local hotels in an attempt to identify the victim, who they believe may have been from abroad.

They are now trawling through guest lists and hotel records of Corstorphine establishments for any clues that could lead to her identity.

Inquiries have been made at various accommodations, ranging from Corstorphine guest houses to a hotel operated by the Hilton chain, all a short distance from where her remains were discovered.

DCI Keith Hardie, pictured, who is leading the investigation, insisted all lines of inquiry remained open but a failure to identify the victim locally meant the dragnet would be widened.

He said: “We have got a very large hotel not far from the area. That’s another line of inquiry. Have people come to stay at a hotel and this is the closest place to there? There are a number of things we have to consider. I suppose the one thing I can say without any degree of uncertainty is that because of the length of time that’s gone past without her identity being established, it might not be as local as we first thought.” The murder probe was launched after a cyclist stumbled across the head of a dismembered woman protruding from a shallow grave at the nature reserve nearly two weeks ago.

Attempts to discover the identity of the woman, aged between 32 and 60 and with distinctive cosmetic dental work, have yet to bear fruit.

Distinctive jewellery found at the burial site had led to a suggestion the woman could have links to Irish Traveller communities, with experts believed to have been drafted in to help trace its origin.

Police say circulation of images of the rings, which included a gold Claddagh ring – traditionally used in Celtic wedding ceremonies – has led to scores of people contacting police with possible leads since Monday. But officers admitted they were still waiting for a “key call” to give them the breakthrough they so desperately need.

The names of six women identified by the public have been eliminated from the investigation, and 80 potential witnesses have been interviewed, including one from Buckinghamshire, in England.

They have also had details of two suspicious sightings of people carrying suitcases at the nature reserve.

Hotel bosses in the city centre confirmed they had yet to be approached by police. Chris Wayne-Wills, chairman of the Edinburgh Hotels Association, said no members had contacted him with news.

A Police Scotland spokesman said the focus on where the victim may have been staying formed part of its ongoing investigation.

He said: “We can confirm that we are carrying out inquiries in order to establish whether the victim had stayed at any hotels in the local area.

“Guest records would form part of our inquiries, and we would look to exploit any CCTV opportunities that become available. We would urge anyone who has any information that can assist us in identifying the woman to contact Police Scotland on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”