Murdered mother's body may have been moved

The Northern Echo: Ongoing investigation to find the body of murder victim Rania Alayed.  Her uncle Ali Aydi, right, visits the search area to lay flowers.  Also pictured is Mohammed Muflih, left, who was acting as his interpreter. Ongoing investigation to find the body of murder victim Rania Alayed. Her uncle Ali Aydi, right, visits the search area to lay flowers. Also pictured is Mohammed Muflih, left, who was acting as his interpreter.

DETECTIVES believe the body of a murdered mother-of-three may have been moved weeks after being dumped near a dual carriageway.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Marsh said at least two people with a roll of carpet or a large suitcase may have returned to a site beside the A19, between Thirsk and Northallerton, to recover Rania Alayed’s body before hiding it elsewhere.

The Northern Echo: SEARCH: Rania Alayed
Rania Alayed

Det Chief Insp Marsh revealed the new theory over the disappearance of the 25-year-old as her uncle visited two laybys where police have spent months searching for the Palestinian woman’s body.

Ali Aydi, whose niece moved from Greta Road, Norton, Stockton, to Manchester with her Syrian husband last January, appeared emotional as he left a bouquet of flowers near one possible site where his niece may have been dumped.

Mr Aydi said it was vital for his family, which last year fled from Syria to Lebanon due to the civil war, to be able to lay the 25-year-old to rest.

Mr Aydi said: "Rania was taken from us six months ago when she was brutally murdered, in the most beautiful years of her life.

“She leaves behind three children who face life without her.

“Her body is still to be found so we can give her a dignified burial.

"It has been very difficult for her parents who live in Lebanon and face an unknown future for their grandchildren.”

Police said they have photographic evidence Ms Alayed was driven from Manchester to a layby on the A19 in a white Leyland Daf 200 camper van in the early hours on June 8.

Det Chief Insp Marsh said a three-month examination of fields on a mile-long section of the northbound carriageway had seen officers digging until they hit hard clay, sniffer dog searches and flyovers by military jets to take ground disturbance photos.

The search has also included tests by forensic archaeologists and botanists and assistance with ground-penetrating radar images from the Royal Engineers.

He said: “The hard search has been stood down beside these laybys near Thirsk, but by no means has the investigation finished and we may look beside other laybys along the A19 if we receive information.

“It took us a number of weeks after she was last seen to find out that she was dead, so there is a possibility that she was moved again, between June 8 and July 12.

“It would have taken some considerable concealment to move that body.

“The public support for the inquiry has been overwhelming, but we are now appealing to people who saw something out of the ordinary, such as people with tarpaulin, carpet or a large suitcase going over the fence to contact us.

“Greater Manchester Police has a history of looking for dead people long, long after (the event), you look at the Moors Murderers. We won’t rest, we will revisit and revisit.”

Ms Alayed's partner, Ahmed Khatib, 33, of Gorton, Manchester, and his brother, Muhammed Mahmood al Khatib, 38, of Arthur Millwood Court, Salford, have been charged with her murder.

A third man, Hussain Al Khateeb, 34, of Gorton, has been charged with perverting the course of justice.

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