A SPECIAL service at St Oswald’s Church, Horton-in-Ribblesdale at the weekend included readings from the funeral of the ‘lady of the hills’ - the woman found dead near Penyghent 14 years ago and who police now believe may have been a ‘Thai bride’.

The annual ‘in loving memory’ service, held on All Saints’s Sunday, features the singing of hymns and the reciting of poems in memory of loved ones.

And this year, following the reopening in the summer of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the unexplained death of the woman, the service at the ‘church on the Pennine Way’ included prayers and readings from the funeral in St Oswalds of the ‘lady of the hills’.

Audrey Daley and Jeanette Davidson read material from her funeral, and poems from more recent bereavements. Candles were lit on the new votive stand and the 11 victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh, in the United States., were also remembered. Hymns from recent funerals were also sung again including “Love Divine”, “Lord of all hopefulness” and “How great thou art.”

Local priest Stephen Dawson said he hoped police would be successful in their review of the case, which has always remained suspicious.

“Police visited the church in the summer as part of their review of this case and we hope that their publicity on the news and this special service will eventually mean that a name can be added to the gravestone,” he said.

The body of the woman, who police believe was from south-east Asia, was discovered by a group of walkers on the Pennine Way between Penyghent and Horton-in-Ribblesdale on September 20, 2004. She was lying in a stream at the entrance to a pot hole near Sell Gill Pot.

Cold case reviewers believe she may have been killed and transported to the stream, possibly by an off road vehicle.

A cause of death has never been established and an inquest in May 2007 recorded an open verdict, with a post-mortem examination indicating she had been dead between one and three weeks before her body was found.

Adam Harland, who is managing the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Police cold case review team, said she had been in the UK for at least two years before her death and may have arrived as a “Thai bride”.

He said: “This term does not necessarily mean the woman comes from Thailand but that she is a lady who has taken up a relationship with a white gentleman and has come back to live in the UK in the late 1990s or early 2000s. That would probably mean that her partner is older than her and quite likely has led a more solitary, individual life prior to their relationship taking place.Whoever her partner was in the last days of her life is the person we need to locate and speak to.”

The woman would have been between 20 and 40 years old, would have come from China, Korea, Thailand or the Philippines, was 4ft 11ins tall, and weighed about 10 stones. She had brown eyes, dark brown, shoulder length hair, pierced ears and a distinctive gap between her front, bottom teeth. Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is urged to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room. Or anonymously, Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.