Suffolk

Missing Sylvia Stuart case now being treated as murder

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

The search for a woman who disappeared after her husband was stabbed to death has become a murder inquiry, police confirmed.

Sylvia and Peter Stuart, aged 69 and 75, were reported missing on 3 June.

Mr Stuart's body was found near their home in Weybread, Suffolk, later that day.

Suffolk Police said it will reveal a "significant update" in the double murder investigation at a news conference to be held at 15:00 BST.

On Thursday evening, officers confirmed Mrs Stuart's disappearance was "now being treated as a murder enquiry".

Live: Latest on the Weybread double murder inquiry

Officers are carrying out searches between the Stuarts' home and Tilbury, Essex, where suspect Ali Qazimaj lived.

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

Officers previously said there was "very little hope" Mrs Stuart would be found alive. It has now been more than two weeks since she was last seen.

Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes said: "While search officers in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire have been working together in the UK, we're also continuing to work with international law enforcement on the hunt for Ali Qazimaj,"

Mr Qazimaj, a Kosovan immigrant, went on the run around 24 hours after Mr Stuart's body was discovered.

The 42-year-old, who goes by the name Marco Costa, caught a ferry from Dover to Calais, at around 18:30 on 4 June. He was unaccompanied on the journey.

Mr Parkes said: "He is a suspect in a murder investigation in which someone was repeatedly stabbed - we have to assume he may be dangerous. We have no way of knowing if he is armed."

Mr and Mrs Stuart were captured on CCTV walking into Goodies Farm Shop in Wood Lane in Pulham Market, at around 10:20 on 29 May.

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