Fingerprints of a killer are thought to have been found on the rucksack of a nurse whose strangled body was found in Oxfordshire in 1983.

The prints, found using new technology, were on travel documents and the diary of murdered nurse Eila Karjalainen, who was hitch-hiking across Britain.

Her strangled remains were found at Barnham Woods on the 2,100-acre Blenheim estate in Woodstock on November 25, 1983. Det Supt John Macintyre said the prints were today being compared with a national database and the case could be solved as early as next week.

He said: "One of the big mysteries was that when she was in London she met a lot of people and wrote their details in a diary. When we looked at the diary, pages were torn out.

"There are other prints on travel tickets and yes, we suspect they are the prints of the murderer." The prints are also being compared with those of a convicted sex killer who was working in Oxfordshire at the time of the murder.

The case was used as the basis of one of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse plots in the ITV series.

Det Supt Macintyre said: "We strongly suspect that the killer is already known to us. If that is the case, the murder could be solved next week. If not it could match someone's prints in the future."