UK seeks ‘running man’ over Saudi student’s killing

Police are also seeking help in identifying a man wanted for questioning over a separate attack in Colchester

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UK police are seeking the public’s help in their search for two individuals who could be connected to the case of Nahid Almanea, a Saudi student who was brutally stabbed to death in Colchester last week, local media said over the weekend.

According to a Sky News report Saturday, police officers are going door-to-door as part of their search for a man who was seen running close to where Almanea was killed.

The news channel said the person of interest is a dark-haired Caucasian, aged between 18 and 25, of medium build.

The man was spotted in a long-sleeved, plain hooded top that is described as London bus red and dark trousers, the news outlet said.

He was spotted coming out of an alleyway which indirectly links to where Almanea was fatally stabbed.

Almanea, a 31-year-old who had been studying at a local university for a PHD, was stabbed 16 times while walking along a path in Colchester on Tuesday morning.

AlManea was wearing an abaya – a black cloak worn by some Muslim women – and headscarf when she was murdered, and police are investigating the possibility she was deliberately targeted because of her religious dress.

Police have released a CCTV picture of Ms. Almanea taken moments before her death.

The police, according to Sky News, are also seeking help in identifying a man wanted for questioning over a separate attack Thursday on a woman in Peache Road, also in Colchester.

"The location of this attack, and some aspects of it, including reports that a knife was seen and the victim was a woman, mean that this suspect is also of interest to the Almanea investigation," Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron said in a statement carried by the news outlet.

The attacker in Peache Road was described as white man in his early 20s and around 1.73 meters to 1.76 meters tall. The medium-build man had a narrow face, appeared unwell, and possibly had fair hair, the report said.

Worron also said police could not rule out that there may be a link between Almanea’s case and the murder in March of James Attfield, a man with brain damage who was stabbed more than 100 times at a Colchester park.

"A criminal profiler from the National Crime Agency has carried out a thorough assessment of all the evidence in connection with both murders," DCS Worron said.

"A decision has been taken that they remain separate but parallel investigations at this time.”

"However the circumstances of both crimes mean that we must consider the possibility that the same killer or killers are responsible."

The UK police released over the weekend a 19-year-old man they were questioning in connection to the case. He has been eliminated from their inquiries.