In 2002, the town of Soham in Cambridgeshire was changed forever by a devastating event that shocked the nation after the abduction and murder of two innocent 10-year-old girls.

The incident took place on Sunday, the 4th of August when best friends Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells were attending a barbecue at Holly’s home.

At 6.15pm, the two snuck out of the house to get some sweets as their parents believed the two were playing together in Holly's bedroom.

However, when Holly’s and Jessica’s parents went to check on them at 8pm, they were left panicked when they could not find the pair.

Local police were immediately notified of the missing girls and the town of Soham came together to find them.

It was at this time that the police spoke to local man Ian Huntley who worked at the girls' school as a caretaker and claimed to have seen Jessica and Holly on his doorstep and mentioned that they appeared happy during their brief interaction.

Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells.Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells. (Image: PA)

Huntley became involved with the search for the two girls, often appearing in interviews appealing for them along with his girlfriend Maxine Carr.

What did Ian Huntley do?

Two weeks after Holly and Jessica went missing on August 17, their bodies were found in a ditch near the perimeter fence of RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, around 10 miles east of Soham.

The coroner later ruled the girls died from asphyxiation.

The search then turned to who could do such a thing. Locals from Huntley’s hometown of Grimsby revealed he had previously been linked to sex attacks on a woman.

It was later found that he had been investigated for the alleged rape in 1998, along with his alleged sexual relationships with underage girls before moving to Soham.

When it was discovered that Jessica’s phone last had a signal to a mass outside of Huntley’s home, police conducted a search.

They were able to find fibres of clothing the girls had last been wearing when they were seen and fibres connecting Huntley’s body and clothing.

Ian Huntley is serving a life sentence for murdering Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire.Ian Huntley is serving a life sentence for murdering Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire. (Image: PA)

On August 20, Huntley was charged with two counts of murder, while his girlfriend Carr was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice when lying about Huntley’s whereabouts.

The trial took place in December 2003 and saw Huntley found guilty on two counts of murder and he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 40 years.

Where is Ian Huntley now?

Huntley remains behind bars, at HMP Frankland in Durham and while in prison he faced a series of attacks from other prisoners, health problems and suicide attempts.

While in prison, Huntley confessed to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl that he dragged into an orchard in 1997.

Huntley is not eligible for parole until 2042 when he will be 68 years old.