Murder of woman found naked on Peak District's Mam Tor unsolved for nearly 30 years

The murder of a woman who was killed and found naked in a shallow grave has remained unsolved for nearly 30 years.
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Dawn Shields was just 19 years old when she disappeared in May 1994. The young woman was working as a prostitute when she was picked up in a car in Broomhall – Sheffield’s red light district at the time – and disappeared.

Her body was later found in a shallow grave on the slopes of Mam Tor, Castleton, one week later. The naked body of the mum-of-one, from Pitsmoor, was discovered by a National Park ranger. She had head injuries, had been strangled and was buried under some rocks.

It is said that Dawn had been ‘pressurised into prostitution’ from the age of 14 and was plying her trade on the city’s streets to support herself and her 11-month-old son at the time of her death.

The body of 19-year-old Dawn was found in a shallow grave in the Peak District on May 20, 1994. She had been strangled.The body of 19-year-old Dawn was found in a shallow grave in the Peak District on May 20, 1994. She had been strangled.
The body of 19-year-old Dawn was found in a shallow grave in the Peak District on May 20, 1994. She had been strangled.

To mark the 25th anniversary of her murder, South Yorkshire Police carried out a review of the case in the hope of developing new leads. It was hoped that advances in technology would provide a breakthrough when murder inquiry exhibits held in storage for decades were re-examined. But to this day, Dawn’s killer remains at large.

Dave Stopford, in charge of the probe at that time, said the murder was a “horrendous crime” and that the killer was a “violent person”.

He said Dawn was a “vulnerable, young person” when she was killed and the police force was keen to secure “justice” for her and her family.