MURDER squad detectives were yesterday questioning friends and

relatives of a 15-year-old girl after her body was found at a secluded

beauty spot.

Nobantu Zani's decomposed body was found covered with branches on

moorland near Bingley, West Yorkshire. Police said she may have led a

double life, but added that there was no evidence that she had been

working as a prostitute.

Nobantu, who liked to be known as Mandy, had not been reported missing

because her South African mother thought she was staying with a

15-year-old school friend.

The popular teenager had not been seen since September 11, and police

believe she was strangled soon after that date -- with her own chiffon


Mandy regularly played truant from Buttershaw Upper School, in

Bradford, and education officers had frequent contact with her family

until the end of last term.

Her body showed no signs of a struggle, and police say that may mean

she knew her killer.

''Her movements and the house in which she was staying are a

mystery,'' said Detective Superintendent Tony Whittle, who is leading a

team of 30 officers on the case.

''We don't know where she was staying, who she was with or how she was

maintaining or supporting herself during that period.''

Mr Whittle said it was not unusual for Mandy to be out of touch with

her family for long periods. He added: ''It may be that she was living

some kind of double life.''

Mr Whittle said there was no evidence that Mandy had been working as a

prostitute, adding that she was a popular girl who may simply have been

''reaching a stage in her life where she wanted more freedom''.

Mr John Hull, Mandy's head teacher, said: ''She was bright,

well-liked, very pleasant and easy to get along with. I remember she was

in our revue show last term and she sang in it karaoke-style. She had a

very good voice.

''I'm extremely distressed. I knew her fairly well.''

Mandy was born in South Africa and moved to Britain in September 1990

to join her mother and two brothers, now aged 10 and 18. Her father, a

lawyer, died in South Africa some years before.