Arrest over Elsie Frost murder 50 years on

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A pensioner has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of schoolgirl Elsie Frost more than 50 years ago.

Elsie’s body was found close to a towpath alongside the Calder and Hebble Canal in Wakefield, on October 9, 1965.

The ABC steps at a rail underpass where Elsie's body was found in 1965.

The ABC steps at a rail underpass where Elsie's body was found in 1965.

West Yorkshire Police said: “Officers from West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team (HMET) arrested a 78-year-old man in the Berkshire area on Tuesday 27 September on suspicion of the murder of 14-year-old Elsie Frost.

“The man is now in custody at a police station within the Thames Valley force area and will be questioned by West Yorkshire officers.”

Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, Senior Investigating Officer in the case, said: 

“A reinvestigation into Elsie’s murder was launched in 2015 by West Yorkshire Police, backed by a publicity campaign on the 50th anniversary of her death. Since then we have received significant numbers of calls and emails from members of the public offering new information, and have generated new lines of enquiry which officers have been progressing ever since. Following those enquiries we have now arrested a 78 year old man in the Berkshire area and will be interviewing him under caution to progress our investigation.” 

The 14-year-old was attacked on the afternoon of October 9th 1965 as she made her way home on a towpath next to the Calder and Hebble Canal in Wakefield.

While entering a railway tunnel just off the canal towpath (which now leads onto Monckton Road) she was attacked from behind and received stab wounds to her back and head. 

Her body was found at the bottom of the ‘ABC’ railway service steps by a dog walker at about 4.15pm, a post mortem confirmed she had suffered stab wounds and that she had died as a result of her injuries. 

Local officers and the Metropolitan Police, who were asked to assist in the case, mounted a major investigation and interviewed hundreds of residents but her killer was never caught. 

Detective Superintendent Wallen, added: “Elsie’s brother and sister have been kept fully apprised of the progress of the enquiry and I wish to commend them for their perseverance and that of members of the media in continuing to campaign for her and to put this case back in the public domain.” 

“The response we have received from the public since launching the reinvestigation is a testament to their dedication and to the strength of feeling Elsie’s murder continues to generate in the local community in Wakefield.”