Police have had more than 200 tip-offs about unidentified women murdered in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
It comes a week after the three countries launched a campaign with global policing agency Interpol to find the names of 22 women, whose bodies were discovered between 1976 and 2019.
It is the first time Interpol has gone public with a list seeking information about unidentified bodies.
Police said the women “deserve to get their names back”.
“The information we are receiving now gives us hope for several cases. Every tip can make a difference for the next of kin of the victims,” said Dutch police official Martin de Wit.
Police said they were following up on 122 potentially useful tip-offs for the cases in Germany, 55 in Belgium and 51 in the Netherlands.
Information they have received so far includes possible names of victims, and potential leads about clothing and jewellery the women were wearing.
The so-called black notices released as part of the Operation Identify Me campaign are normally only circulated internally among Interpol’s network of police forces throughout the world.
They include details about the women, photographs of possible identifying items, and, in some cases, new facial reconstructions and information about the cases.
In a statement, police said they were analysing the information they had received so far, and that their first priority would be informing the family if any of the victims’ identities were discovered.
As the women are believed to have been murdered, they added that any identification would lead to criminal investigations.
Most of the victims in the 22 cases were aged between 15 and 30. Without knowing their names or who killed them, police say it is difficult to establish the exact circumstances of their deaths.
The campaign was initiated by Dutch police, who were struggling to identify a woman whose body was discovered in a wheelie bin floating in a river on the outskirts of Amsterdam in 1999.
Other cases include a woman with a distinctive tattoo of a black flower with green leaves and “R’NICK” written underneath who was found lying against a grate in a river in Belgium in 1992, and a woman’s body found wrapped in a carpet and bound with string at a sailing club in Germany in 2002.
Dr Susan Hitchin, coordinator of Interpol’s DNA unit, said the policing agency was continuing to call on the public to come forward with any information that could “help investigators connect the dots”.
Source : BBC