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Kent link to Melanie Hall body mystery

Melanie Hall, whose remains were found near the M5, north of Bristol
Melanie Hall, whose remains were found near the M5, north of Bristol

By Luke Hollands


The father of murdered Melanie Hall, whose remains were found by a motorway more than a decade after she disappeared, has spoken of the comfort and support his family has drawn from friends and relatives in Kent.

Steve Hall, 65, and his wife Pat, lived with their daughter Melanie in Brabourne Lees, near Ashford, for 13 years before moving to Bradford-on-Avon near Bath in the early 1990s, both for work and to be closer to family.

Bones belonging to Miss Hall, 25, were found in a bag by a workman clearing a verge on the M5, north of Bristol, on Monday.

Her disappearance after a night out in Bath in 1996 sparked one of the most high-profile police hunts of the decade. It was also the start of 13 long years of confusion and hurt for the Hall family.

Mr Hall said: "More than 13 years have gone by. I always thought someone had lived with the secret of what happened to Melanie and it would die with them. I couldn’t help feeling in that time that we were never going to get answers to our questions, so part of me thinks it is good that this has happened."

Mr Hall said it was a combination of friends, family and keeping busy that has kept the family going since Miss Hall’s disappearance.

He said: "We’ve just tried to keep ourselves busy, but we’ve also taken great comfort and strength from those around us. We have also taken great comfort from the people of Brabourne Lees, where we used to live."

The Hall family has strong ties with Kent. The family moved to Brabourne Lees when Mr Hall took a job at South Kent College, Folkestone. His wife Pat hails from Gillingham, while daughter Dominique now lives in Strood.

Mr Hall said: "We moved to Kent when I took a job promotion and moved to South Kent College, but we always said we would move back to the South West when the time was right. When we did return Melanie eventually followed and went to university in Bath. But we still have many friends in Brabourne Lees and visit regularly."

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