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British college caretaker Ian Huntley was arrested for two murders in 2002 after a highly publicized search for his 10-year-old victims.
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Carr, in fact, was away visiting relatives at the time, and within a short time of Holly and Jessica having entered the house, Huntley had murdered both of them.
Huntley used his car to transport their bodies some 20 miles away, where he dumped them in a ditch and set them alight, in a bid to destroy the forensic evidence.
Later that evening,
Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells were reported missing and a police search began at around midnight. Over the next two weeks the search escalated to become one of the most widespread and publicized in British history.
Several witnesses came forward, including Huntley, who claimed to have seen the girls shortly before they disappeared, and his home was searched routinely in order to eliminate him as a suspect. Huntley also granted television interviews to the press, and his unusual interest, together with his emotional involvement, made investigators suspicious, leading to a wider search which revealed the half-burned remains of Holly and Jessica's shirts, in a storage building at Soham College where Huntley was employed.
Following the find, police arrested Huntley, and girlfriend Carr, on suspicion of murder. Later the same day, August 17, 2002, 13 days after the girls had disappeared, a game warden discovered the girls' bodies near RAF Lakenheath, an airbase in Suffolk, near to Huntley's father's home.
Subsequent autopsy reports on the girls listed their probable cause of death as asphyxiation, but their bodies were too badly decomposed to establish whether they had suffered any sexual assault.
Despite Huntley's attempts to destroy forensic evidence, extensive hair and fiber residue remained which linked Huntley to the girls. Huntley was formally charged with the girl's murders, and sectioned under the Mental Health Act at Rampton Hospital, pending a hearing to establish if he was fit for trial. Carr was arrested for assisting an offender, as well as conspiring to obstruct the course of justice, as she had initially provided Huntley with a false alibi for the time of their disappearance.
The trials of Huntley and Carr opened, to worldwide media interest, in London, on November 5, 2003. Huntley was faced with two murder charges, while Carr was charged with perverting the course of justice and assisting an offender.
The prosecution entered exhaustive evidence linking Huntley to the girls and, three weeks into the trial, despite previously having denied any knowledge of their murders, Huntley suddenly changed his story, admitting that the girls had died in his house, but he claimed that both deaths were accidental. The defense called Huntley as their first witness, and he described how he had accidentally knocked Holly Wells into the bath, while helping her control a nosebleed, and had accidentally suffocated Chapman when she started to scream, and he had tried to silence her. On cross-examination the prosecution described his latest version as "rubbish."
Carr's testimony began three days later, when it was claimed that she had no control over the events on the day of the murder, and that, had she known of Huntley's murderous intent, she would never have lied to protect him.
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