An envelope discovered nearly two years ago as a result of research by authoress Brenda Oats might, Royal Dorset Police believe, contain an important clue to the whereabouts of Professor Brian Thrupiece whose disappearance from a Swiss hotel bedroom 14 years ago remains "unexplained" [See L'Autorité Suisse Dossier en Attente Numéro CAB/PBT/HC/S-LS/ 23454/23433443344/567655b/iii/IIX/b56]
Mrs Oats found the empty envelope in a box of unsorted letters sent to Ms Shelley-Lulette Sizemore by Professor Thrupiece whilst researching for her recent biography of the Dorset authoress, television host, model and one time "walking companion" of the Professor [See: Oats, Brenda  Shelley-Lulette Sizemore, Threadbone Biographical Monographs, The Threadbone Press]
"Since the envelope contained no letter, I thought little of it at the time", Mrs Oats explained. "In fact I was more concerned to try to trace the missing letter than to examine properly the envelope itself. It was only when I turned it over many months later that I discovered the clue on the back". The "clue", as Mrs Oats describes it, is the initially puzzling "N.O.R.W.I.C.H.", written in what is indisputably Professor Thrupiece's own hand. "We can only presume - since there is no other logical reason for his having written it, that the Professor intended to indicate to Ms Sizemore his whereabouts at the time the letter was written... In short the key to his movement at a vital period "of interest" may lie in the great Norfolk county town and former capital of the Iceni tribe".*
* There is a strange irony afoot here: though the Thrupiece family can trace its roots deep into Dorset history, many onomasticians believe that the surname itself derives from the Iceni - Traʊ pæɑ̯s or "man of wise culinary insight and peaceful council ".
The envelope discovered by Mrs Oats during exhaustive research clearly showing the N.O.R.W.I.C.H. inscription - a locator or acrostic mystery?
However Professor Hugues Missing-Data of Cambridge Acronymics believes that the clear baseline dots (or full-stops) carefully placed between the letters may indicate that something else is at play here. "Perhaps an acrostic decipherable only by those in the know (eg Ms Sizemore herself)?", he conjectures. "In all likelihood we will never know and perhaps it is merely a geographical reference as Mrs Oats surmises".
Sir Rising Crimewave, Royal Dorset Police's Chief Constable has, meanwhile, appealed to anyone for whom the N.O.R.W.I.C.H. reference may ring bells to contact "any officer" at "any of our two remaining stations" at their earliest convenience. "I am convinced someone out there holds a vital clue to the whole mystery", he added, "possibly someone steeped in the arcane ways of Second World War postal acronyms."