Suffolk

Weybread case: 'Less likely' Sylvia Stuart is alive

Ali Qazimaj Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Ali Qazimaj is believed to have entered the UK as an asylum seeker and gained work as a forklift driver in Essex

Detectives searching for a woman whose husband was found stabbed to death say it is becoming "less and less likely" she will be found alive.

Sylvia and Peter Stuart were reported missing on Friday. The same day the body of Mr Stuart, 75, was found near his home in Suffolk.

Ali Qazimaj, 42, who is wanted over the murder and disappearance, is thought to have boarded a ferry to France.

Police "strongly believe" Mr Qazimaj will help them find Mrs Stuart.

Detectives said they need to know more about him and revealed he uses the alias Marco Costa.

It is thought he is from Kosovo and gained asylum in the UK.

Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Sylvia Stuart is still missing. The body of her husband, Peter, was found in woods on Friday

Mr Qazimaj's car was found near the Dover ferry terminal on Sunday, with police confirming they had received "reliable information" he had boarded a ferry unaccompanied to Calais at 19:00 BST on Saturday.

Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes said: "We strongly believe that finding Ali Qazimaj will help us in locating Sylvia, who has now not been seen for nearly 10 days.

"It is becoming less and less likely we will find her alive as days go by," he said.

"Our enquiries continue to learn more about his roots and his links within the UK and overseas.

"We urgently need anyone who knows him, who may have spent time with him over the last few weeks or before this to get in touch and tell us more about his background so that we can trace his movements."

Image copyright Norfolk Police
Image caption The couple visited a farm shop together five days before they were reported missing and Mr Stuart was found dead

The Stuarts of Weybread, near Harleston, had spent Saturday 28 May with family and were captured on CCTV the following day at a Norfolk farm shop.

Their movements between that day and when they were reported missing on Friday are not known.

Mr Stuart was found dead in woodland surrounding their home on Friday evening.

Det Ch Insp Parkes said efforts to find Mrs Stuart were concentrated on the UK and there was no suggestion she was involved in her husband's murder.

He would not be drawn on whether her passport was missing or had been used.

The couple's son-in-law, Steve Paxman, 61, of Leicester, was arrested on Sunday and released on bail on Monday night.

Ali Qazimaj - what we know

  • Aged 42, about 5ft 6in (1.7m) with brown eyes and dark brown greying hair.
  • Uses the alias Marco Costa
  • Police believe he is from Kosovo and was granted asylum and a UK passport following the conflict in the former Yugoslavia
  • Lived in Tilbury, Essex, and worked in Purfleet as a forklift driver
  • Police have received '"reliable information" which places him at Dover's ferry terminal at about 18:30 BST on Saturday
  • It is "strongly believed" that he then boarded a passenger ferry unaccompanied to Calais in France soon after 19:00 BST
  • His silver Citroen C3 was found at about midnight on Sunday on Athol Terrace, within sight of the ferry terminal
Image copyright Diss Express
Image caption A photo from a newspaper story about phone lines in 2013 shows Steve Paxman (right) with his mother-in-law Sylvia Stuart and his father-in-law Peter Stuart

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