Alvor acid attack woman is travel rep from Isle of Wight

Breaking news from the UK this morning is the identity of the 29-year-old woman horrifically injured in a cold-blooded acid attack in Alvor last Saturday night (click here).

According to the Telegraph newspaper, the woman is Tui travel rep Eleanor Chessell from the Isle of Wight. Known by workmates as “Ellie”, Ms Chessell was based at Hotel Alvor Baia, reports DailyMail online, while the Daily Mirror suggests her attack was some form of organised ‘hit’ devised by an abusive former lover who may have been stalking her.

This has been backed by a report in Portuguese tabloid Correio da Manhã, which simply says the man who doused Ms Chessell with two-litres of virulently-powerful corrosive liquid was “acting on instructions”.

Horrifically injured and being treated in Lisbon’s S. José Hospital burns unit, Ms Chessell has apparently told police that she did not recognise the attacker who, she said, said “sorry” as he launched his assault after “surprising her from behind”.

So far, there have been no “official comments” from investigators, but a source described as “close to the investigation” has confirmed that the prime suspect is a Portuguese man thought to be from Madeira who is already known to police for at least one domestic violence incident.

According to the Telegraph, Ms Chessell met the man in Madeira and his attempts to track her down had already lead to Ms Chessell switching from a “previous posting in Albufeira”.

The news does confirm that the victim was not a tourist, but a tour operator living in Portugal.

The source is quoted as having told UK reporters that “the investigation is pointing towards a former boyfriend who allegedly created a fake Facebook profile, giving the idea he was someone else, started chatting with his victim and then set up a meeting”.

“They had a relationship in the past and there is a domestic violence history. On top of that, his whereabouts are unknown since this happened.

“Police are trying to trace him”.

The nature of the acid used is still being kept under wraps, but a bottle thought to have contained it has been found and is being analysed, say the British papers.

The Telegraph adds that “so much acid was thrown” that it left burn marks on the road and pavement, and scorched nearby undergrowth.
Police officers first on the scene needed hospital treatment for breathing difficulties, but have since been given the all clear.

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