Date: 9 Jun 1996
Place: M5, Bristol
Melanie Hall disappeared on 9 June 1996 after a night out in Bath.
She was last seen alive at the Cadillacs nightclub in Walcot Street, Bath at around 1.10am on 9 June 1996 sitting on a stool by the edge of the dance floor. Her remains were found on the northbound slip road at junction 14 of the M5, the exit for Thornbury, near Bristol and 25 miles from Bath on 5 October 2009.
She had been to the club with her boyfriend and two other friends, but her boyfriend had become upset when he saw her dancing with another man and had left the club early.
After she vanished the police checked hours of videotape from security cameras at the clubs as well as from around the city centre.
Her car was found still parked in the hospital car park where she had left it, and no money was taken out of her bank account.
In November 1996 it was suggested that she had been the victim of a Night Stalker who had been raping women around Bath and who was thought to have committed two murders, that of Melanie Hall and Louise Smith although the murder of Louise Smith was later solved. The sex attacker was described as being white, of medium to slim build and about 5ft 10in to 6ft tall.
Her disappearance was also connected early on with the sex murder of Nicola Parson who was murdered in Plymouth as the photofit of her killer was said to be similar to that of one made for a man wanted in connection with Melanie Hall's disappearance. The men were both said to have been about 5ft 10in tall, in their later 20's, with dark hair and eyes and with distinctive dark eyebrows. It was also heard that the police working on each case had been liaising with each other on the cases for some months. However, the murderer of Nicola Parson was later convicted in December 1997. It was noted that both Nicola Parson and Melanie Hall vanished from nightclubs a month apart and that they were both pretty blondes, had both been seen on their own in the clubs, and had both been seen arguing with a mysterious man in dark clothing outside the clubs.
After her remains were found, the Coroner recorded an open verdict due to lack of evidence but suggested that the circumstances of the case indicated that she had been murdered.
Two men were arrested in connection with her murder in 2003 but released after searches of buildings and fields near bath revealed nothing.
In 2009 a man was arrested on suspicion of her murder although no charges were made.
Another man was arrested in 2016 in relation to her murder but also released without charge. It was said that the arrest was made in the light of new DNA findings which was found at the place where her body was found.
It was noted that ten people had been arrested in total during the investigation with no charges.
Police said that Melanie Hall died from blunt force injuries to the head.
When her remains were found by a workman clearing vegetation they were described as bones and she was identified in part by her jewellery, including a ring that had been in her family for generations. Her remains were found in five bin bags that had been partially buried near the slip road. The worker found bones which were later found to be her skull and pelvis, whilst the rest of her remains were said to have been partially buried nearby.
Her pale blue silk dress, black satchel and silver drop earrings were never found.
Melanie Hall had been a hospital clerical officer at the Royal United Hospital in Bath having graduated the year earlier from the University of Bath with a degree in psychology.
She was 5ft 4in tall.