Unsolved Murders

Janice Crompton

Age: 58

Sex: female

Date: 25 Jan 1997

Place: Knowstone, South Molton, North Devon

Janice Crompton was found wrapped in a duvet and polythene bags in the back of a red Toyota pick-up truck which had been parked at a farm in Knowstone in South Molton, North Devon.

She was found on 25 January 1997, three days after she was reported missing. The truck was said to have been parked up at the farm on 22 January 1997.

It was heard that the main suspect was seen on the same day, 22 January 1997, with his wife at Tiverton station en-route for a planned extended holiday in Adelaide, Australia where their son lived.

The police said that they had wanted to speak to the man in Australia about the murder but said that he allegedly committed suicide in the Swan River in Perth before they could question him. However, they said that they still planned to go out to speak to his widow.

It was heard that after Janice Crompton's body was found the police had contacted Interpol and the Australian police had been monitoring the man and his wife for a week before the man went out for a walk to the Swan River where he drowned. The man had been in a hotel at the time and had walked about a mile to the river.

It was heard that the Devon and Cornwall police had wanted to have the man arrested sooner by the Australian police but that the Crown Prosecution Service would not give permission for the Australian police to do so and they could not change their minds on the matter. The Crown Prosecution Service said that the Devon and Cornwall police had not produced enough evidence for an extradition order.

After the man's death the Australian police questioned his wife who told them that she had no knowledge of Janice Crompton's murder and the search for them until the day before her husband drowned.

Janice Crompton had lived in a remote house in Chelfham, near Barnstaple and had been an art teacher. She was married but her husband lived in Cyprus.

The police said that they thought that the suspect who died in Australia might have been having an affair with her. The suspect had lived in Ebberly in north Devon and had kept bees and a hive of bees was found on top of her body in the pick-up truck which was found at his son-in-law's farm at Knowstone.

The police said that they were still investigating the case after the main suspects death to consider whether the main suspect had been fit and healthy enough to have been able to have lifted Janice Crompton's body into the truck, stating that medical records indicated that he had suffered from a rheumatic problem. The police stated that although they thought that he had been in good health as they had reports that the man had carried out land clearance near to Janice Crompton's home recently, they also had witnesses say that the man had been unable to lift things and required help doing so.

The police said that they were not looking for anyone else in relation to the murder of Janice Crompton.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.