Essex

Missing Chris May case now treated as murder probe

Chris May Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Chris May has been missing from his Essex home since 25 May 2015

The disappearance of a man last seen a year ago is now being treated as a murder case, it has emerged.

Chris May, 28, was last seen at his home in Kelvedon, Essex, on 25 May 2015.

His Volkswagen Golf was found abandoned about 10 miles away in the village of Fairstead.

Essex Police has now confirmed the case is no longer being treated as a missing person inquiry but as an unsolved homicide case.

Live: Latest updates on Chris May murder probe

The fact the case had been reclassified from a missing person case to an "unsolved homicide" case only emerged after the BBC found the case listed in a Freedom of Information request response from a member of the public.

'Drug dealer'

It shows the case was being treated as a homicide as far back as February - though police made no announcement of that fact.

The reclassification from missing person to murder investigation was withheld from the public as part of the investigation, the force said.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption The last movements of Chris May's car before it is spotted abandoned in Fairstead

Det Ch Insp Marina Ericson said Mr May was a drug user and dealt in ecstasy, cocaine and mephedrone.

"There is a strong likelihood that Chris' involvement with drugs is linked to his death," she said.

"There are a number of questions I still need to answer and I am appealing for the public's help to get that information."

Hoaxes

Essex Police said four letters from anonymous authors have been sent claiming to have information about what happened to Mr May.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption The front of one of the letters sent to Essex Police

The first two letters received by the force have been established as hoaxes, the force said, although it believes the sender may hold vital information about the case. The first one had claimed Mr May was dead.

Second hoax letter sent to police

Whoever sent that last letter it a hoax

Chris is OK he is staying with me he is sorry for all he has put people through a specially his family and friends and the police we never thought it would get this much attention.

He had to go missing as there is a heavy drug firm after him as he owes them money how can you tell your family and friends that he is going to stay with me until he thinks it can be sorted

He will contact his family soon when he thinks it's safe he sead [sic] he loves them all but is not in good mind state who can help he sead [sic] he loves them all

Contact will be made again soon

Love you all xxx

Det Ch Insp Ericson said: "I am appealing for the person who wrote either of these letters, or anyone with knowledge as to who wrote them, to contact me or my team.

"We continue to investigate these two letters as it is my belief that the author or authors have knowledge of Chris' death."

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