Fresh appeal over mummified prostitute found dumped in Leeds 22 years ago

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Detectives investigating the death of a woman whose mummified body was found dumped in Leeds in 1991 are making a new appeal to find out how she died.

The body of Donna Healey was found at the edge of the overgrown grounds of the then Falloden Nursing Home in Allerton Park, Chapel Allerton, on January 15, 1991.

Donna, from Bradford, was 18 when she disappeared some time around March 1988 while working as a prostitute in Harehills.

It was not until December 2003 when advances in DNA enabled the police to establish that the remains were those of the missing teenager.

Despite extensive inquiries supported by media appeals and national publicity on BBC’s Crimewatch programme, police have never been able to establish the circumstances of Donna’s death and why she was left in a location where she was likely to be found.

Detectives from West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team have now launched a full re-investigation of the case in a bid to finally solve the mystery.

A report previously prepared by national specialists who reviewed the case highlights key aspects which have never been publicly revealed before.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Morgan, who is leading the investigation, said: “Everything suggests that the answer to Donna’s death lies in the Allerton Park area. One key finding in the report is the significance of the site where her body was left.

“It is very unlikely that place was chosen at random. We believe whoever left Donna’s body there had some sort of connection to that place - that they had either lived or worked in the area or had some other connection to it.

“The other key finding is that there was likely to have been a significant event in the circumstances of the person who had stored Donna’s body for such a long period that suddenly caused them to move it.

“That could be that they were moving house, or a partner was moving in with them, or that there were due to be renovations that would disturb the place where they had stored the body.

“Given Donna worked as a prostitute, the most likely theory is that she died after going off with a client. She worked in Harehills and was found not far away in Chapel Allerton which suggests that her disappearance and death all occurred within that area.

“Even though it is 22 years to the day since her body was found, we are asking people to focus their minds on these two key aspects.

“Do they have any suspicions about someone with links to the Allerton Park site? Do they have any suspicions about someone who had a change in their home circumstances around January 1991?”

The mummified condition that Donna’s body was found in indicates it was kept somewhere dry and cool within a building.

She was found on January 15, 1991, by a builder who had found the spot clear when he deposited materials there the day before.

DCI Morgan added: “Donna’s family are still in limbo nearly 25 years after she disappeared. Understandably they want answers about what happened to her and we are determined to do all we can to try and get them those answers.

“A lot will have changed over 25 years and I would urge anyone who knows anything that could assist us to come forward and tell us what they know.”

Donna’s mother Lorraine Wilkinson, 66, said: “Anyone who has children will understand why as a mother I need to know what happened to Donna. I think about her all the time and need answers as to why this happened to her.

“Donna was a lovely girl who was always very supportive and had a good close relationship with her stepfather. Her problems only started when she got in with the wrong people.

“I am asking anyone who has information about what happened to Donna to come forward, even after all this time. As a mother, I desperately need to know what happened. I am asking anyone who does know what happened to Donna to search their conscience and think how they would feel if it was their daughter.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.