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Norwich prostitute still missing after ten years

PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 June 2010 | UPDATED: 16:59 01 July 2010

Kellie Pratt has been missing for 10 years

Kellie Pratt has been missing for 10 years

Sarah Hall

The mother of a Norwich prostitute who disappeared a decade ago has said she feels the pain of the families in Bradford whose daughters are suspected to have been murdered by a serial killer.

The mother of a Norwich prostitute who disappeared a decade ago has said she feels the pain of the families in Bradford whose daughters are suspected to have been murdered by a serial killer.

Gloria Carpena, 60, the mother of Kellie Pratt, who went missing 10 years ago while working as a prostitute in Norwich, said she knew exactly what the mothers of the women in West Yorkshire were going through.

The dismembered remains of Suzanne Blamires, 36, were discovered last week, while police are hunting for the bodies of Susan Rushworth, 43, and Shelley Armitage, 31.

All three women disappeared from Bradford's red light district in the past 11 months and Bradford University PhD student Stephen Griffiths, 40, appeared in court last week accused of murdering them.

When Griffiths appeared at Bradford Magistrates' Court he replied 'The Crossbow Cannibal'. He will appear before the crown court by video link again next Monday.

Mrs Carpena, who now lives in Newcastle, offered her sympathy to the families of the women and said: “I know exactly what they are going through. I've been there, not knowing what happened to them and I'm still there now.

“Every day I wake up and look at Kellie's photo on the wall. She is in my heart every day and I can't stop thinking about her.”

Mother-of-two Kellie, 28, went missing in June, 2000 and her body has never been found.

She was last seen at about 11.30pm on Sunday, June 11 2000 talking on a mobile phone outside The Rose pub at the junction of Queens Road and City Road, in Norwich.

Earlier she had spoken to friends on her mobile to tell them she was with a client.

Later that night she failed to meet her friends for a prearranged lift, leaving all her belongings behind and making no contact with her family or friends.

Officers have never found the Nokia 6110 mobile phone she was using when she vanished, despite detailed searches.

When former Norwich landlord Steve Wright was convicted of the murder of five women in Ipswich, Norfolk police investigated whether he was linked to Kellie's disappearance along with the unsolved murders of Norwich prostitutes Natalie Pearman and Michelle Bettles, but no links were found.

Originally from Byker in Newcastle, she had moved to Norwich after being in prison for shoplifting and turned to prostitution to feed her growing heroin addiction.

Mother-of-three Mrs Carpena, said: “It is devastating to have the police knock on your door to say your daughter is missing. But it is also bad when they don't find a body; there can never be closure.

“I know something has happened to Kellie but in my heart a tiny bit hopes she will turn up someday alive and well. I know this isn't going to happen really, but I refuse to let go of her.”

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