Thursday, 2 December 2021

Tracey Mertens death: Fresh appeal over Cheshire graveyard petrol fire murder

BIRMINGHAM: A fresh appeal has been made to catch the killers of a mother-of-two who was doused in petrol and set alight in a Cheshire churchyard 22 years ago. Tracey Mertens, 31, was abducted from her former Birmingham home and attacked in Eaton near Congleton on 23 December 1994. She suffered 95% burns to her body and died 12 hours later. Cheshire Police said in her final hours she managed to tell detectives what had happened to her. The mother-of-two, who was living in Rochdale at the time, had travelled down to Birmingham on 22 December. It is thought she intended to return the same day but ended up staying at her sister-in-law′s house overnight and visiting her former home in Cattells Grove, Nechells, the next morning to collect a benefits book. Shortly before noon she answered a knock at the door and was bundled by two men into the back of a yellow Ford Escort which was parked outside the house. Ms Mertens was driven to Cheshire where she was set on fire in the grounds of Christ Church in Eaton and left to die. A member of the public found her ablaze and she was taken to hospital where she died.

Det Insp Gary McIntyre of Cheshire Police said: “Tracey met a violent and horrific death at the hands of her killers. “She was so brave and told detectives as much as she could before she died. “I would personally appeal to anyone who has any information about Tracey’s death to get in touch – even the smallest amount of information can be crucial when piecing together a case. “I appreciate that it is a long time ago but I am sure that if you witnessed something you would still remember this now.” A £30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Ms Merten’s death still stands.

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