Student, 22, found handcuffed with own bra may have been Peter Tobin victim

The murder case of a young woman who was killed and had her hands bound with her own bra could now be solved, as fresh evidence has reignited the investigation.

It has been revealed Jessie Earl's familial DNA sample will be cross-referenced with a notorious serial killers' 'trophies'.

The notorious Scottish serial killer Peter Tobin has been linked to the disappearance of the 22-year-old, whose skeleton was found nine years after she vanished in a remote part of the Beachy Head cliffs in East Sussex, England, in 1980.

Tobin had a hoard of unknown women's jewellery at his home, it was reported.

A pre-inquest hearing was told DNA has already been taken from her parents and police forensic experts are searching databases for a match to any crime scene.

Sussex Police have also been asked to do a thorough search of their archives and provide an audit trail of evidence collected before the first inquest.

The Earl family legal team are hoping their DNA can be matched to a trophy taken from another victim of the same killer.

Jessie was studying at Eastbourne College of Art and Design when she was last seen by her landlady in May 1980.

Her mother, Valerie, now 90, told police at the time how her daughter had met a Scottish man on the downs at Beachy Head.

She said: “She stated that she had talked to him and that he was a married man but separated and had four children.

“She then said something like: ‘Oh I wish men would be prepared to be just friends’. I gained the impression that possibly the man had wanted more than just a casual friendship.”

After Jessie vanished, police told her parents they believed she had gone abroad.

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Her body was found by a family at a remote spot in 1989 and identified through her dental records.

Her watch, ring and most of her clothes were missing. Only her bra was found by her body and it had been tied in a knot.

A female officer involved in the inquiry said that the detective chief superintendent in charge “insisted that officers on the inquiry were not to refer to it as murder”.

A retired police inspector also told detectives that the tying of Earl’s bra was similar to impromptu handcuffs.

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Coroner David Wadman recorded an open verdict and the bra was destroyed. But a cold case review by Sussex Police in 2000 concluded she had been murdered and last year Jessie’s family were finally given permission to appeal the verdict.

Her parents Valerie and John, 94, were successful in securing a new inquest in December after a High Court ruling.

Chief coroner Thomas Teague said there was “a compelling case for a finding of unlawful killing” – which could spark a fresh probe.

Tobin is serving three life sentences for the murders of his three victims between 1991 and 2006.

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