Essex

Colchester car park murder probe police arrest four

St Mary's car park
Image caption St Mary's car park has been closed since the body was found on Monday morning

Police are stepping up patrols in Colchester after a rough sleeper was found dead in a car park.

The body of Martin Dines, 66, was discovered in St Mary's multi-storey in Balkerne Hill on Monday morning.

Detectives have described his death as "an unusual and worrying incident". A post mortem examination is under way.

Three men, aged 47, 45 and 32, and a 46-year-old woman, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are being questioned by police.

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Mr Dines was found just before 09:00 BST on Monday, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Image caption Police are allowing cars to be removed from the site under supervision

Essex Police said they were looking into reports of an assault at about 20:45 BST on Sunday in the Crouch Street and Head Street area of Colchester, and were "keeping an open mind" into whether it was connected to Mr Dines' death.

Det Ch Insp Stephen Jennings, who is leading the investigation, said: "We are aware that this news will have had an impact locally, as Mr Dines was believed to have been a member of Colchester's rough sleeping community.

"This is a very unusual and worrying incident, and my team of detectives is working round the clock to establish what happened."

Image caption Forensic teams have been analysing the scene

He said joint patrols had been set up with Colchester Borough Council wardens and community support officers. A mobile police station has also been set up on St Mary's Fields nearby.

The car park will remain closed for up to 48 hours to allow a full forensic investigation to be carried out, police said.

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