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Reward offered to help solve Eastbourne woman’s murder 19 years ago

Jennifer Kiely was discovered dead on January 22, 2005 at a seafront shelter in Eastbourne (Sussex Police/PA)
Jennifer Kiely was discovered dead on January 22, 2005 at a seafront shelter in Eastbourne (Sussex Police/PA)

A £20,000 reward is being offered in a murder investigation of a woman killed in Eastbourne 19 years ago.

Jennifer Kiely, 35, was discovered dead in a seafront shelter on January 22 in 2005. She had suffered stab wounds and her body had been set on fire.

A pushchair she often had with her was on top of her body when she was found, after a fire was reported on the lower promenade at Holywell on Eastbourne seafront.

On the anniversary of her death, charity Crimestoppers are offering the sum for information that leads to a conviction of anyone involved in the murder.

Police are also urging anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Dunn, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: “This remains an active investigation and Jennifer’s family are desperate for answers, as are we.

“We know the seafront shelter was frequented by the homeless community and we are urging anyone with any information which may assist in our investigation to please come forward.”

Ms Kiely’s mother, Margaret, said: “I think of her every day. But on her anniversary I can’t stop, I can’t switch off. Somebody, somewhere, knows who is responsible. Just please come forward and let us know.”

Detectives said Ms Kiely was well known in Eastbourne and spent her last day with friends at a property in Upperton Gardens.

DCI Dunn said she left at about midnight and was last seen at around 1am walking along the seafront towards Holywell. Her body was discovered at 5am by council workers.

Officers are looking to trace and eliminate from the investigation a man who was seen walking in the road at the back of the Grand Hotel that night, wearing a dark blue short jacket with a collar, grey jeans and white trainers.

DCI Dunn said: “He was described as eastern European by his accent and appearance. He was about 5’10-11, of slim to medium build. His hair was a light blond colour, short but in no particular style. His face was roundish, and he had dominant cheek and jaw lines.

“Jennifer’s family deserve to know what happened to her and who is responsible.”

People with information are urged to contact Crimestoppers to qualify for the reward, they can be contacted anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or online.