Police reopen investigation into murder of Sheffield teenager Dawn Shields

The body of Dawn Shields was found in the Peak District National Park on the slopes of Mam Torin May 1994.
The body of Dawn Shields was found in the Peak District National Park on the slopes of Mam Torin May 1994.
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An investigation into the murder of a Sheffield teenager is to be reopened by police.

Detectives at South Yorkshire Police are today launching a fresh enquiry into the death of Pitsmoor teenager Dawn Shields, exactly 25 years since her disappearance.

Dawn vanished after getting into a car in the Broomhall area of Sheffield in the early hours of Saturday, May 14, 1994.

The 19-year-old led a troubled life throughout her teenage years and was pressurised into prostitution from the age of 14.

At the time of her death, Dawn was working on the streets of Sheffield, using the money to support herself and her young son.

Her body was found in the Peak District National Park on the slopes of Mam Tor on May 20, almost a week after her disappearance.

She had been strangled and buried in a shallow grave under some rocks.

Now, using modern day scientific techniques, South Yorkshire Police’s Major Incident Review (MIR) team - which is responsible for reviewing unsolved cases in South Yorkshire - is actively re-examining evidence in Dawn’s case for previously undetected traces of DNA.

Dave Stopford, who is leading the enquiry, said: “We routinely review unsolved murders by looking at new information or evidence. Using the advances in identification through DNA in historic cases has been successful in a number of investigations, and we are hopeful in this one.”

The team is also appealing for anyone with information they may never have previously shared about Dawn’s disappearance to come forward.

Mr Stopford said: “In cases like this, offenders can inevitably feel the pressure to confess their involvement to someone. An offender who is suspected at the time might pressurise a friend or member of their family to provide a false alibi, for example.

“If you know of or suspect someone’s involvement in this horrendous crime we would like to hear from you.”

Anybody coming forward with information can speak to the team confidentially on 0114 296 1399. Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.