The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2003 – Even the experts were baffled
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This story appeared in the Northern Scot, January 31, 2003.
BRITAIN'S top experts in uncovering hidden bodies were called in to help in the search for Arlene.
But, unusually, the team who looked for Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells in Soham and murdered teenager Danielle Jones were stumped.
Detective Inspector Chuck Burton, who lent his expertise to the Grampian force, blamed the "degree of cunning" which went into a crime ''motivated by hate.''
He said: "When it is this pre-meditated it puts him on the front foot all the time and we are trying to catch up.''
Mr Burton enjoys the title of custodian of CATCHEM – the Centralised Analytical Team Collating Homicide Expertise and Management.
What it is is a computer data-base recording all details of child murders in Britain since 1960.
It was set up after the abduction and murder of Susan Maxwell from Coldsteam and Caroline Hogg from Edinburgh in the early 1980s.
Mr Burton explained that the details of previous murders can throw up clues which enable detectives to draw up a profile.
Arlene's small stature made the details of how child victims were concealed relevant.
"There are only a limited number of things that can be done to hide a body," said Mr Burton, who also wrote the missing person section in the police's official Manual of Murder and won an OBE for his efforts.