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Retiring police officer speaks of sadness over murdered Jenny
A SENIOR police officer who this week hangs up her hat has spoken of her sadness at being unable to find murdered teenage Jenny Nicholl.
North Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Sue Cross was the senior investigating officer when 19-year-old Miss Nicholl went missing from her Richmond home in June 2005.
After a lengthy investigation, middle-aged father-of-two David Hodgson was convicting of her murder despite her body never being found.
Ms Cross retired yesterday after a 30-year career.
Speaking on her last day, the senior officer said she had worked with a “committed and professional enquiry team” which saw the successful conviction of Hodgson.
She added: “Working with Aston University, we used pioneering techniques on the linguistic analysis of text messages which contributed to the successful conviction of Hodgson.
“My one remaining sadness is that I have never been able to tell Jenny’s parents, Brian and Ann, where Jenny is. That is something I still think about on a very regular basis.
“To lose a child is one of the most difficult things for any parent to bear and to not be able to lay your child to rest just compounds the loss.”
Brian and Ann Nicoll today (Wednesday, October 1) wished Ms Cross well and thanked her and her team for their efforts to find their daughter.
Ms Cross’ career began at West Yorkshire Police before she moved to Cleveland as head of crime.
She joined North Yorkshire Police to take charge of the western policing area, later taking responsibility for human resources, information technology, estates and professional standards.
She said challenges faced by the public sector were “not for the faint-hearted”, adding: “ I would like to see the Government publicly valuing the contributions that public sector workers make on a daily basis, rather than the current belief that many staff have, that they are not valued.”
Ms Cross said she was looking forward to exploring new opportunities following her retirement.
North Yorkshire Chief Constable Dave Jones described her as an “inspirational leader and role model”.
“Sue will be greatly missed by her colleagues both in North Yorkshire Police and our partner agencies across the county,” he added.
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