Police probe murder-suicide theory after finding dead man in car
Police probe murder-suicide theory after finding dead man in car near house where 73-year-old was stabbed to death on his doorstep
- The 73-year-old man has been named locally by neighbours as Peter Freeman
- Police believed the attack was random but have since found another dead body
- They said: ‘The police are currently investigating the link between this and the incident in Chockland Road, Kingsteignton’
Detectives investigating the murder of a 73-year-old man in Devon are exploring a possible link between the ‘random attack’ and a suspected suicide.
The 73-year-old, who has been named locally as Peter Freeman, was stabbed to death on his doorstep in what police thought was a ‘random attack’ yesterday.
But they have since discovered a second body in a car close to the scene of the murder in Shaldon, Devon.
The 73-year-old man, named locally at Peter Freeman, was stabbed on his road in Kingsteignton, Devon, yesterday. He later died in hospital. Pictured are police on the scene at Chockland Road, Devon
Police initially believed the murder was a ‘random attack’ but they have since discovered a second body in a car close to the scene of the murder in Shaldon, Devon
Detective Superintendent Mike West, Head of Major Crime and Serious and Organised Crime said: ‘The police are currently investigating the link between this and the incident in Chockland Road, Kingsteignton’. Pictured are police at Labrador Bay where the second body was found
Detective Superintendent Mike West, Head of Major Crime and Serious and Organised Crime said: ‘We have launched a major investigation following last night’s murder.
‘Late this morning we were also made aware of a body of a man found deceased within a car near Labrador Bay, Shaldon.
‘This death is not currently being treated as suspicious and we are responding to the incident as a suspected suicide.
‘The police are currently investigating the link between this and the incident in Chockland Road, Kingsteignton.
‘At this time we are appealing for witnesses and we would like to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity of Chockland Road between midday and midnight on Sunday June 9.’
They are also interested in hearing from a anyone who saw a Blue Skoda Fabia in the area between midday yesterday and 11am today.
Neighbours said they believe the attack unfolded in front of the man’s elderly wife
Superintendent for South Devon, Jeremy Capey added: ‘Understandably, this incident will cause much concern and upset amongst our local community.
‘Our thoughts go out to the victim’s family during this time and we will continue to support them, providing as much assistance as we can.
‘A number of police officers and specialist resources will remain visible at the scene and around the wider Kingsteignton area as officers continue to investigate this heinous crime.’
Speaking to the DevonLive website, Mr West said there was no indication that the incident involved a group of people or was related to drug activity.
He added: ‘There’s every indication at the moment and the evidence that’s been collated to date to say that it’s a random attack.’
Neighbours have spoken of their shock after the elderly man was stabbed more than 10 times to death outside his home on Sunday night.
They have described the couple who lived in the house that is cordoned off as a ‘sweet couple who walk their two little white dogs’.
Residents in the area were told by police at the time to keep their windows and doors locked, and some say it has left them feeling ‘frightened’.
Wendy Roberts said: ‘My house backs on to the house where the incident took place as it was right at the back of our garden.
‘You never expect anything like that around here, it’s very quiet at that time of night as everyone is in watching TV.
‘We didn’t like to look because at first because we thought it was someone who was ill, then we saw the police van. I do know some of the people who live down there but not at the house where police were coming and going.
Residents in the area were told by police at the time to keep their windows and doors locked, and some say it has left them feeling ‘frightened’. Stock picture
Neighbour Martin Alford said he heard a woman outside screaming after the incident took place
‘The worrying thing is that no one has been arrested. When I went out this morning I told my daughter to keep all the doors locked and not to answer the door.
‘We could see the helicopter which we would see from the bedroom window they were circling as far as Bovey Tracy.
‘It’s strange no one saw anything, no one knows anything. Last night there were lots of people out in their dressing gowns and a young lad was really distressed, they were all my daughter’s age.’
Martin Alford said he heard a woman outside screaming after the incident took place.
He added: ‘We were awake and we saw all the blue lights, then a big police Range Rover pulled up outside, armed police got out with their guns and a police officer came and knocked on our door and asked if we had seen or heard anything.
‘It’s all a bit close to home, you don’t expect it to happen in Kingsteignton, it’s less than 200 yards away from our house.’
Det Supt Mike West said: ‘There is every indication at the moment, in the evidence collated to date, to say it is a random attack.
‘It is important we approach the two deaths with an open mind, but because of the rarity of this sort of incident it would make sense for us to make sure, due to proximity, that we consider them in tandem as well as being isolated.
‘That is part of our ongoing investigation at this time.’
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