UK police begin search for possible victim of late serial killer Fred West

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LONDON (Reuters) - British police said on Tuesday they would carry out a search at a cafe in western England after finding evidence that the body of a suspected victim of Fred West, one of the country's most notorious serial killers, might be located there.

West took his own life in 1995 after confessing to 12 murders while his wife Rosemary was convicted later that year of killing 10 girls and young women, with most of their victims chopped up and buried in their home in Gloucester which became known as "The House of Horrors".

Fred West, a builder, was also linked to a 13th victim, teenage waitress Mary Bastholm who vanished in 1968, but her body has never been found.

Gloucestershire Police said they had launched an investigation at The Clean Plate cafe in the city after a production company filming a documentary there found possible evidence a body could be buried within the property.

"On the basis of the information provided to us, we consider this to be new and potentially important evidence in the case of Mary Bastholm, however further detailed assessments will take place over the following few days to determine the extent of excavation needed," said Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden.

Police said Bastholm had previously been linked to West and there was suspicion he was involved in her death.

The Wests, whose murders spanned from the 1960s until at least 1987, subjected their victims to brutal sex attacks before killing them. Among those who Rosemary West was convicted of murdering were her 16-year-old daughter Heather and her eight-year-old stepdaughter Charmaine.

The "House of Horrors" - 25, Cromwell Street - was later bulldozed by the local authority with all the bricks ground to dust.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Sarah Young)