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The smile that might solve a three-month-old mystery - does anyone recognise that gap in the otherwise perfect teeth of the unidentified woman whose body was found in a stream on the slopes of Pen-y-ghent in the Yorkshire Dales? This new forensic drawing has been prepared by an expert at the National Missing Persons Helpline from post mortem photographs and a series of exact facial measurements. Anyone who knows her should call North Yorkshire Police on 0845 - 60 60 24 7

This could be the image that will resolve a police enquiry that has been running for three months. It is a new forensic drawing of a woman whose body was found in a Dales stream on 20 September this year.

She was found by walkers on the popular Pennine Way near Pen-y-ghent in North Yorkshire and so far has not been identified. A team of detectives and specialist advisers is working to establish who she is, how she met her death - and to break the news to any family she may have.

The new image has been prepared by an expert from the National Missing Persons Helpline and clearly shows the distinctive feature that may strike a chord with someone who knows the woman. She has excellent teeth with no fillings - but a gap at the front that would be obvious when she smiled.

The woman is of Oriental ethnicity. Experts believe her origin was from an area of Asia that includes, China, Korea and the Philippines, and detectives are working with the embassies of these and other countries. Detective Inspector Pete Martin said: "We have to cast our net over a huge area. She may be British born and bred - but from anywhere in Britain - or she may be a foreign national visiting this country; whatever the circumstances of her being in the UK what is important is that someone must know her and be able to help us identify her. We are working our way through a large number of possibilities, and unless we get that breakthrough phone call from someone who knows this poor woman, it is going to be a long, painstaking job."

Background The body was found on 20 September by a group of walkers making their way down the Pennine Way from Pen-y-ghent towards Horton In Ribblesdale. They had stopped near Sell Gill Pot, where a mountain stream tumbles into a pothole, when they saw the body nearby.

Early enquiries suggest the body may have come to rest near the pothole entrance after being washed down the stream. Post mortem examination suggested that she had been dead at least a week, and no longer than three weeks. This puts her death between 31 August and 13 September. The cause of her death is not yet clear.

Description She is between 20 and 40 and of Oriental ethnicity, 4' 11" and about ten stone. Her hair is dark brown, shoulder-length, style unknown.

She was wearing green Marks and Spencer jeans, size 12, light-coloured socks, a white bra and black pants size 10-12. A turquoise and white horizontally striped tee-shirt, size 10-12, was found nearby.

She wore a gold ring on the third finger of her left hand. The ring is 22 carat or above which, together with marks inside the ring, suggests that it originated in the far east or middle east. It is 4mm wide, and a lady's ring size L. The general appearance indicates the ring is well worn and very old

Both ears were pierced, but she wore no earrings. There was no sign of any footwear, jacket or baggage . There was no evidence of tooth staining, which suggests a non-smoker. It has been determined that the woman had a non decay-promoting diet. She does not appear to have had any dental treatments. The gap at the front of her lower teeth would have been noticeable when she smiled.

From evidence of toothbrush use she was probably right-handed. The woman had a coil fitted. She has had a pregnancy in the past. There is an indication that when she was young her growth was arrested because of a childhood disease such as measles.

The Police Operation * A team of 12 officers, based at Skipton, is working on the case backed by beat officers, Task Force searchers and specialists from voluntary organisations like Cave Rescue. Among the outside specialists who are assisting the investigation are:

An anthropologist advising on ethnicity, age and aspects of upbringing An odontologist. His conclusions and the woman's dental chart have been circulated to all national dentistry journals. An entomologist who has provided information on the date of the woman's death. A jewellery expert is examining the ring to unlock any further clues it may hold

* An area of two square miles surrounding the body location has been searched. Four separate searches of the Sell Pot cave system have been made, including parts only accessible to the most skilled diver-potholers.

* Witness searches have included investigating every sighting of women matching the description in the Yorkshire Dales since 1 August.

House-to-house enquiries have been made in the areas of Horton In Ribblesdale, Buckden, Starbotton, Cray, Hubberholme and Yockenthwaite.

Witness appeal letters - in a variety of languages - have been sent to holidaymakers staying at hotels and B&Bs in the Dales

Walkers using the Pennine Way and walking the Three Peaks have been traced and contacted via hostels, hotels and cafes Posters have been put up throughout the area * The enquiry is currently concentrating on searching Missing From Home records. Every police force in the country has been contacted, and the Police National Computer interrogated.

255 people fitting the search criteria have been examined and, so far, 232 have been eliminated. The remainder are still being studied.

Four possibilities from the National Missing Persons Helpline are being explored. DNA and fingerprints have been taken to check against those of any suitable Missing people Foreign embassies have been contacted and are giving every co-operation. An appeal for information is being circulated in media in the Far East.

DI Martin said: "Someone must know who this woman is, and I believe there may well be someone who knows she is missing. All they have to do is call us.

"We owe it to her to find her name and to notify her family. She must have a family, friends, perhaps a partner - maybe even a child - and we need to find them. She has a name and an identity, and I need someone to come forward to restore them to this unfortunate lady."

Anyone who can help should call the Witness Line on 01423-539334 or 0845-60 60 24 7.

Police officers quiz walkers on the Pennine Way at the spot where a woman's body was found in September. Anyone who saw a woman of Oriental appearance or anything unusual in the area of Sell Gill Pot, between Horton In Ribblesdale and Pen-y-ghent is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 0845-60 60 24 7 where a team of detectives is working to establish the woman's identity.

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Tuesday, 22nd September, 2020

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