Where is Ian Huntley now and what happened to Maxine Carr?

The man behind the Soham murders

From left to right: Ian Huntley, Holly Wells, Jessica Chapman
(Image credit: Future / Alamy)

It's been 20 years since school girls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were murdered by Ian Huntley, and many want to know where is Ian Huntley now and what happened to his girlfriend, Maxine Carr?

A brand new Channel 5 drama 'Maxine' has brought a horrifying crime back to the forefront of its viewers' minds. Two young girls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were murdered by school caretaker, Ian Huntley, in 2002, in a case that shook people all over the country. But while Huntley was charged with the murders, the new documentary takes a look at his then girlfriend, Maxine Carr, who became involved in the cover up.

The Channel 5 three-parter is not the first true crime series that's left viewers wanting to know the whereabouts of those involved, with many asking where are Colin Coats and Philip Wade following another of the channel's documentaries, while others ask where is Hunter Moore and Charlotte Laws from Netflix's The Most Hated Man on the Internet. The latest addition to these harrowing true stories, now viewers are questioning where is Ian Huntley and his ex-girlfriend, Maxine Carr.

Where is Ian Huntley now?

Ian Huntley - who is now 48 - is currently serving a life sentence at HMP Frankland, in Durham. His sentence is a minimum of 40 years behind bars, meaning the earliest he could be released is in 2042, by which time he will be 68 years old.

According the the Mirror , Huntley has suffered both attacks from fellow prisoners as well as suicide attempts during his time behind bars. In 2005, while in Wakefield prison, Huntley was scalded with boiling water by convicted spree killer Mark Hobson. Once at Frankland prison, an attempt on Huntley's life was made by armed robber Damien Fowkes, and he was subsequently treated in hospital. Huntley also had a run-in with Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe in 2017, in which Sutcliffe called him a 'child killing b*****d'.

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In 2018, it was reported that Huntley had expressed remorse for the murders. According to The Sun, he recorded a confession in his cell, saying "I am genuinely, genuinely sorry and it breaks my heart when it is reported I have no remorse; that I relish something. I do not. I can’t change anything. I cannot remove that day from history; what I have done."

What did Ian Huntley do?

Ian Huntley was found guilty of murdering two young girls in Soham, Cambridgeshire: 10-yar-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

The two girls left a family barbecue to buy sweets from a vending machine at their local leisure centre, but they never returned home. A 13 day search was launched before their bodies were found near an air base at Mildenhall in Suffolk, about 10 miles from their home, on August 17 2002.

The two girls had walked past Huntley's house, who was a caretaker at Soham Village College, and he originally claimed that his girlfriend Maxine Carr was the one who had lured them inside.

After committing the murders, Huntley burned the bodies of the two girls before dumping them side by side. Police were led to Huntley shortly before the bodies were discovered, as the lies he'd told throughout the case began to unravel.

Further evidence mounted against him, after fibres from the girls' distinctive Manchester United shirts - which were found dumped in a bin near the school Huntley worked at - matched those found on his clothing.

Ian Huntley press interview

Huntley had been heavily involved throughout the search for the two girls, and gave a suspicious press interviews that further turned police attention on him.

PA news agency reporter Brian Farmer recalls the interview he conducted with Huntley and his girlfriend, where his comments were so suspicious it led Farmer to raise his concerns with the police. 

Huntley had already said that he was probably the last person to see the girls alive, and he gave Farmer an account of speaking to the girls while washing his dog outside his house. Huntley said the girls made no comment about the dog, which Farmer found hard to believe.

Speaking to ITV News, Farmer said "I didn't think there was a child of that age in the world who wouldn't mention the dog."

Another of Huntley's comments that made Farmer suspicious occurred when the reporter asked Maxine Carr - who was a teaching assistant at the girls' school - if Holly and Jessica were likely to get into a car with a stranger. But Carr didn't get a chance to answer the question, because Huntley jumped in and said he thought Holly would but Jessica would put up a fight.

Farmer said "I do remember thinking, well that's very strange, how could he possible know? He's the caretaker at a school they don't go to."

When was Ian Huntley arrested?

Ian Huntley was arrested on 17 August 2002, the same day Holly and Jessica's bodies were found. He was then convicted in 2003 and sent to prison.

Initially, Huntley was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and detained at Rampton Hospital, a high-security psychiatric hospital in Nottinghamshire. However, after assessment it was decided he was not suffering from any form of major mental illness.

Following Huntley's conviction it was revealed that he had previously been investigated for sexual offences and burglary. It was also revealed that he had groomed a 15-year-old who later had his child.

What happened to Maxine Carr?

Huntley's girlfriend, Maxine Carr, was sent to prison at the same time for perverting the course of justice, after giving the killer a fake alibi. However, she was released from Foston Hall prison in Derbyshire in May 2004, after serving half her sentence.

Part of the reason Huntley was originally seen as a witness rather than a suspect was because Carr had told police they were together when Holly and Jessica went missing. However, it was later revealed that she had actually been out in a bar in Grimsby at the time of the disappearance.

Carr was released under a new identity, but she had to go into hiding  in March 2020 after she was exposed. Her alias, location and work details were posted online with a recent photo. The post has since been deleted and Carr was moved by police to safe house.

Maxine Carr holding up a card she was given by Holly and Jessica

(Image credit: Alamy)

Is Maxine Carr married?

In 2014 it was reported that Maxine Carr had got married to her boyfriend in a wedding ceremony attended by both their families.

The MailOnline reported that Carr's boyfriend was  'absolutely besotted' with the former teaching assistant despite being aware of her past, adding that, "The newlyweds are said to have smiled and joked with guests as they posed for photographs on the hotel's patio after exchanging vows in front of a registrar."

However, The Sun suggested that news of Carr's marriage had angered some individuals, with one source telling them: "The families of Holly and Jessica will never get to see their daughters marry. They will never get to enjoy their big day. They have nothing to look forward. Why should she?"

Does Maxine Carr have a baby?

According to multiple sources, Maxine Carr gave birth to her son in her safe house in 2011.

The MailOnline pointed out that the terms of the injunction mean that her child can't be told of his mother's true identity - and a separate court order may be needed to protect the son's identity too.

The Mirror claims that Carr now lives in a seaside town with her husband.

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Ellie Hutchings
Features Editor

Ellie is Goodto’s Feature Editor, having joined the team as a Junior Features Writer in 2022, and covers everything from wellbeing for parents to the latest TV and entertainment. Ellie has covered all the latest trends in the parenting world, including baby names, parenting hacks, and foodie tips for busy families. She has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University, and previously Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies.