British police are appealing to expats in Spain in the belief someone on the Costas may hold the key to solving a 27-year-old cold case.
Surrey police have reopened the investigation into the murder of a scientist who was gunned down by a hitman on her doorstep in 1994, in what they believe was a case of mistaken identity.
Karen Reed, 33, was shot five times after answering the door at her home in Woking to a hitman disguised as a pizza delivery driver in 1994.
Investigators believe it was a contract killing but that the intended target may have been Ms Reed’s sister, Alison Pointing, whose husband was jailed for murdering a former Chechnyan prime minister and his brother.
Appeals for information about the killer were renewed on Wednesday and pictures released of the suspect to the media for the first time.
“Intelligence from the original investigation suggested that suspects involved in the murder could have left for Spain in order to lie low from police,” Detective Inspector Gareth Hicks of Surrey and Sussex Major Crime team told The Olive Press.
“People out there know who killed Karen Reed,” he said.
“Whether it’s the individual who pulled the trigger, or those who were assigned to arrange this contract killing, it’s time for them to come forward.
“Karen was an innocent young woman who was loved by those who knew her, worked hard and had no previous involvement in criminal activity.
“She worked in Addlestone as a geophysicist and was enjoying a glass of wine with a friend when she was brutally murdered.
“We strongly believe that this murder was a case of mistaken identity and a contract killing which went wrong.
“Those who are out there and know what happened may feel more comfortable in coming forward with information due to certain loyalties and relationships breaking down over time. It’s time for these people to do the right thing and help us.”
Ms Reed was shot at her home in Willow Way on the Barnsbury Estate in Woking when she answered the door at around 9.15pm on Saturday, April 30, 1994.
The suspect, who was tall, dark-haired, wearing glasses and holding a blue and white pizza box, asked her to confirm the address, which she did before she was shot at close range five times.
An ambulance was called but Karen sadly died at the scene.
Police believe the killer had made a botched first attempt two weeks earlier, but fled when his red Vauxhall Cavalier attracted the attention of police.
Officers searched the car and found a gun fitted with a silencer, along with a map to the Barnsbury Estate, as well as a commando knife. There was also a black Delsey Bag plus a rare Olney blue tartan cap.
Police released this new information about the killer as well as photographs of weapons and possessions found in the car in the hope of jogging someone’s memory.
Anyone with information can contact the Surrey Police Operation Lilac team on 01483 639969 or online via webchat at surrey.police.uk.
To remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers from the UK on 0800 555 111 or from Spain on 900 555 111.
A reward of up to £10,000 is on offer for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those linked to the murder.