Suspect arrested over Katerina murder

Andrezei Kunowski, 46, from Acton, appeared before West London Magistrates

hammersmith murder

Andrezei Kunowski, 46, from Acton

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Scotland Yard today announced the arrest of a suspect in its worldwide search for the killer of Katerina Koneva, a 12-year-old girl who was murdered by an intruder at her home in Iffley Road, Hammersmith, on Thursday, 22 May 1997.

The suspect, Andrezei Kunowski, 46, from Acton, west London, appeared before West London Magistrates on Wednesday and is due to appear at the Central Criminal Court in London on 6 August.

Police believe the motive for the killing was "sexual homicide" although Katerina was not sexually assaulted.

The intruder was disturbed by her father, Trajce Konev, when he returned home at approximately 16:40 that day. The front door of the house was open, and the door to the first floor living room was jammed shut. The suspect fled the scene by jumping from the first floor window. He then ran off with Mr Konev in pursuit.

When Mr Konev returned home after losing the suspect in the streets of Hammersmith, he found Katerina's body lying on the living room floor. She had been strangled.

After the suspect ran away from the family home in Iffley Road, he ran into Hebron Road, Agate Road, then Amor Road, and through a builder's yard where he was captured on CCTV camera. This was the only image that police have of the suspect.

A breakthrough in DNA investigation methods meant police could isolate a new pool of 100 potential suspects. Forensic scientists obtained a partial DNA profile of the murderer from items left at the scene of the crime.

Earlier this year, Police offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her killer. One incident happened only half an hour before Katerina was murdered. Police were contacted by a member of the public who said he had observed a 12-year-old girl being followed as she walked home in Aldensley Road, W6. The man watched the girl as she went into her home then walked away.

The other incident happened on the afternoon of 4 February 1997 when a 12-year-old girl was followed by a man in Brackenbury Road, W6. She noticed him and ran into her house. The man rang the doorbell at the address, which the girl ignored and the man went away. Two days later the same man tried to gain entry to the house - he knocked at the door and when it was opened by the girl's mother he went away.

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