Suffolk

Missing Sylvia Stuart: Police stop active searches

Sylvia Stuart and Peter Stuart Image copyright Diss Express
Image caption The body of Peter Stuart was found but his wife Sylvia remains missing, presumed dead

Police have stopped searching for the body of woman who went missing a year ago and is presumed murdered.

The body of Sylvia Stuart's husband Peter was found in a stream close to their home in Weybread, Suffolk, on 3 June 2016. Her body has not been found.

Ali Qazimaj was found guilty of killing them in March.

Suffolk Police said they are no longer actively searching for Mrs Stuart, 69, but they will follow up any information which assists in locating her.

Qazimaj, 43, formerly of Tilbury, Essex, was convicted at Ipswich Crown Court, after claiming during his trial he was actually called Vital Dapi.

He was jailed for a minimum of 35 years.

Suffolk Police said officers carried out one further search after the conviction.

Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Ali Qazimaj was jailed for a minimum of 35 years for killing the Stuarts

Det Ch Insp Andy Guy said: "Although our active searching has stopped, as I said after the conviction of Qazimaj I have promised the family that I will continue to follow up any information that assists in locating Sylvia and this remains the case."

Mr and Mrs Stuart were last seen alive at a farm shop in Pulham Market, Norfolk, on 29 May.

They were reported missing on 3 June 2016, the same day that 75-year-old Mr Stuart's body was found stabbed.

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

Qazimaj told his trial that he was 44-year-old Dapi, and he had never been to the UK until he was arrested in Luxembourg in July and extradited here.

Suffolk Police believe Qazimaj originates from Albania and had been in the UK since 1999, when he claimed to be from Kosovo and was granted asylum.

Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Ali Qazimaj was pictured on CCTV in Dover, fleeing the country

The court heard Qazimaj, who worked as a carer for a relative of the couple's son-in-law, killed them for money.

He then fled the country, catching a ferry from Dover, the court heard.

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