Modern forensic techniques have unearthed new evidence about a murder linked to the death of Jacci Ansell-Lamb, who was was found dead in Mere woodland in 1970.

Now the farmer, then aged 10, who discovered the teenager's body hopes her killer will finally be brought to justice.

"It would be good to see it resolved," said Andrew Whittaker, who was with dad Ted when he found Jacci in Mere woodland. "I remember at the time the police were up here for months sifting through almost every single leaf." Secretary Jacci, 18, who had been hitchhiking from London to Manchester, was found partially clothed in Square Wood in March 1970.

But despite a huge murder hunt - including hundreds of motorists being quizzed - her killer was never found.

Police staged a reconstruction and colour television was used for the first time in their appeal.

But now Derbyshire detectives - investigating a similar murder from around the same time - may have made a breakthrough.

Officers have found a fingerprint from clothing worn by hitch hiker Barbara Mayo, 24, who was murdered in Chesterfield - seven months after Jacci's death.

Seven years ago the force met with Cheshire detectives after finding links between the two killings.

Both girls were strangled and there appeared to be a sexual motive.

Now the two investigating teams are liasing again to establish further common ground.

"There are similarities between the two cases," said Cheshire's Det Supt Michael Holland.

"But it is far too early to say which definite linking factors there are, if any."

Derbyshire's assistant chief constable Don Dovaston promised more important information about Barbara Mayo's murder would be released.

"The investigation has never closed," he said.

Mr Whittaker said a field next to the woods where he found Jacci had been known as murder field since her death.

"If anything is going to go wrong it always seems to happen in that field," he said.

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