Channel 5 documentary looks at Soham murder case 20 years on

Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells, wh were murdered by Ian Huntley in 2002

Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells were murdered in 2002 - Credit: PA

A new Channel 5 documentary tells the story of how police solved the murders of Cambridgeshire girls Holly and Jessica - nearly 20 years after they disappeared.

On August 4, 2002, Soham was placed in the spotlight after Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells left a barbecue at the Wells' home to get sweets from a nearby vending machine.

Twenty years later, a new documentary shines a light on how police officers solved the Soham murders.

"For the first few weeks, it looked like one of those dramatic crime stories that you see on the TV," said Sky News presenter Jeremy Thompson.

The reporter was one of many to cover the case in 2002.

Thompson said: "Looking at my notes now, it makes it very real.

"It brings it back very vividly.

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"I can picture myself exactly where I was standing - exactly where I was presenting these pieces of news."

The Channel 5 documentary, Soham: The Murder of Holly & Jessica, begins with a look at the events of August 4.

The pair left a barbecue at Holly's house to buy sweets from a nearby vending machine.

Holly and Jessica, both aged 10, were soon declared missing, and residents and officers began searching for the St Andrew's Primary School pupils.

The girls - who would now be aged 30 - were found in nearby Lakenheath, Suffolk.

School caretaker Ian Huntley was identified as their murderer.

In the documentary, former Cambridgeshire Constabulary Special Constable Sharon Gilbert describes the moment that she met Huntley.

Soham murderer Ian Huntley

Ian Huntley, Soham murderer - Credit: PA/Toby Melville

She said: "Everything about Ian Huntley made me feel uneasy.

"He had got very strange eyes.

"His eyes are just like they are looking at you, but also as though he is looking through you."

Former special constable Gilbert phoned the inquiry hotline with her feelings, and Huntley soon became a suspect in the case.

Channel 5's look-back 20 years after the murders features interviews with the journalists and officers who wanted to achieve justice for the Chapman and Wells families.

It aired on Wednesday (March 9) on Channel 5 at 9pm, and is available to stream on My5.

The second episode of Soham is due to air on Thursday, March 10 at 9pm.