Fresh police probe 25 years after teen found dead in shallow grave in Derbyshire

Dawn Shields. Picture provided by South Yorkshire Police.
Dawn Shields. Picture provided by South Yorkshire Police.

Police have launched a fresh enquiry into the death of a teenager - 25 years after her body was found in the Peak District.

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

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The 19-year-old had led a troubled life through her teens and was sexually exploited and abused 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.

Almost a week after her disappearance, Dawn’s body was found on the slopes of Mam Tor in the Peak District.

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 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.

Dave added: "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, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.