In October 1979 a woman's body was found in a forest in Kent and although her death sparked a murder hunt, no-one ever came forward to say who she was.
Reporter Sean Axtell looks back at the case which also never saw anyone convicted of killing the un-named woman who was aged between 30 and 35.
She was found with devastating head wounds in woodlands - she had been suffering an agonising ectopic pregnancy at the time of her death.
It was 1979 when a horse rider discovered her remains under bracken, years before DNA profiling was introduced to the UK.
Standing 5ft 1in, slight and aged little over 30, she would become known as the Bedgebury Forest Woman, in one of Kent’s most puzzling criminal cases.
Today, she is laid to rest in an unnamed grave in Tunbridge Wells, her killer still at large, with detectives this week reminding us “no case is ever truly closed.”
On October 23, a witness happened upon the deceased woman while riding along a bridleway, near the pinetum in Bedgebury, Goudhurst.
It is said she noticed something unusual among the undergrowth, poorly hidden from view, and alerted the police.
Adorned in a black and white floral dress which still remains crucial to the case, the woman’s body had been mutilated.
Her injuries, particularly around the neck and face, made her almost impossible to identify until huge scientific advancements were rolled out years later.
She did however have brown eyes, naturally straight dark hair and was dressed in black shoes, a black polo jumper and yellow blouse underneath the dress, which had been modified to fit her small frame.
No easily identifying features, like a handbag, were discovered with her body, which was believed to have been in the thicket for around six days.
And laying just feet from her remains was the suspected murder weapon - a blood stained wooden stake.
As the 2,600 acre forest teemed with police trying to establish the events leading up to the victim’s final moments, no friends or family came forward to help identify her.
The deafening silence would set in motion a huge response, with teams of medics and doctors working around the clock in a bid to identify her.
An autopsy revealed her teeth, though badly decayed, placed her around 30-years-old.
And her lungs, clear from signs of smoking or pollution, suggested she lived in a rural area.
Stretch marks on the woman’s stomach indicated she could very well have a child alive in the world.
But perhaps the most sorrowful discovery of all was that she was suffering an ectopic pregnancy, having likely conceived six weeks before her death, causing substantial pain and bleeding.
It is a severe condition when a fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb, usually inside a fallopian tube which, after six or so weeks, can rupture causing severe internal bleeding.
Police opened new lines of inquiry with hospitals and medical centres, hoping to identify her.
They quizzed healthcare professionals up and down the country to see if they’d treated such a patient.
For years missing person records were scoured daily.
"It is important to remember that no case is ever truly closed..."
But it appeared the woman lived on society’s peripheries, a transient, likely a sex worker, who would hitch along the M1 and M6 between London and the north of England.
Despite various high profile appeals, including on BBC’s Crimewatch, the case went cold.
But as forensic technologies advanced, it was among a pile of cases Kent Police Major Crime Support Unit reopened in 1998, dubbing it Operation Raft.
Award-winning Det Chief Insp Dave Stevens, who led the investigation into the slaughter of Lin and Megan Russell in Chillenden in 1996, headed up the probe.
Five years after her body was discovered, DCI Peter Spitals went on Crimewatch to say the Medway College of Design identified her dress as homemade from furniture fabric.
He described the garment as being “altered on at least two occasions” and the woman likely living “a very poor existence.”
He urged the dressmaker to come forward before re-publishing an artist’s impression of the woman’s face.
Jill Dando in February 1999, just two months before she was gunned down on her doorstep in London, helped to renew the appeal.
The presenter revealed how the dressmaker contacted Crimewatch following the 1984 appeal.
But the viewer, from Stratford-upon-Avon, “had given it to a charity shop in Evesham in Worcestershire,” leading to a dead-end in the inquiry.
“This poor young woman is in an unmarked grave in Tunbridge Wells, it would be really nice to name it,” DCI Dave Stevens told viewers in a public appeal.
Indeed, she was given a pauper's funeral in Tunbridge Wells with only police officers attending.
She remains in an unmarked grave at Hawkenbury Cemetery.
Arrest of suspect
The investigation would focus on lorry drivers and, just three months after the case reopened, Harry Pennells was arrested five miles from Bedgebury Forest.
The trucker, then 75, of Springfields in Ticehurst East Sussex, was charged with murder in January 1999.
"This poor young woman is in an unmarked grave in Tunbridge Wells, it would be really nice to name it..."
Mr Pennells was a driver for Henleys Transport based at its Goudhurst depot, and the dead woman allegedly resembled a hitchhiker he picked up.
Aged 54 at the time of the killing, Mr Pennells had previously helped police with earlier inquiries into her death.
In May 2000 he went on trial at Maidstone Crown Court, with prosecutors claiming the murdered woman’s blood was discovered inside his cab.
David Fisher QC, prosecuting, alleged Mr Pennells had given her a ride as he made a delivery to Keighley, West Yorkshire, before bringing her back down to the south of England the next morning.
He argued Mr Pennells took her to the forest and bludgeoned her with the wooden stake before dumping her body in undergrowth.
But Michael Hill QC, defending, said the evidence was circumstantial and there was no evidence linking the woman to Pennell’s cab on the day of her death.
Mr Pennells told the jurors he had picked up a female hitch-hiker at a service station on the M1, near Northampton, on October 19, who could have been the victim.
But the pensioner said he dropped her in south London on the morning of 20 October.
A jury found Pennells not guilty after deliberating for an hour-and-a-quarter.
No case is ever truly closed
Now, DCI Neil Kimber, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, has said “no case is ever truly closed.”
“The tragic death in Bedgebury near Tunbridge Wells, of an unidentified woman in October 1979 remains unsolved.
“The cold case team carries out periodic reviews of unsolved murders, rapes and other serious offences and it is important to remember that no case is ever truly closed.
“We continue to appeal for information that may help us identify new lines of inquiry and urge anyone who can help to call us.
If you can help with the investigation, call 01622 654863 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or complete the online form on its website.