29 Aug 2002

Norfolk Island police to fingerprint entire population in search for murderer

10:24 am on 29 August 2002

Almost half the residents of Norfolk Island have submitted to fingerprint testing as the hunt continues for the killer of Sydney woman Janelle Patton.

The Australian Federal Police say 876 residents have so far volunteered their prints more than two weeks into the mass operation aimed at solving the island's first murder in 150 years.

Ms Patton was stabbed to death and partially wrapped in black plastic before being dumped at the picturesque Cockpit Waterfall Reserve on March 31.

The former Sydneysider had been two-and-a-half years into a three-year working permit at the Castaway Hotel on Norfolk.

Of the island's 2,000 permanent residents, the police have encouraged the remaining 855 inhabitants who have not been screened to come forward and help them solve the murder.

A police spokeswoman says 150 residents had booked in for testing this week, with police hoping the mass screening would narrow the suspect pool.

Police also hope to screen the 680 Australian and New Zealand tourists who were on the island at the time of Ms Patton's death.