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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday, 25 May 2016
  2. Case of man who disappeared a year ago today is being treated as murder, police say
  3. Teenager arrested in South Ockendon acid attack probe
  4. Updates resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

That's it from us at Essex Live - sadly we didn't get the sunshine we were hoping for today...

Clacton
BBC

Good news though, we'll be back tomorrow morning from 08:00 to bring a smile to your face with the latest news, sport, weather and travel for the county.

Have a great evening. 

Weather: Cloudy tonight, warm sunshine tomorrow

BBC Weather

It'll be rather cloudy but a mainly dry night across the county. However, a few clearer breaks are possible in the south. 

Minimum temperature: 7C (45F).

Weather
BBC

Early low cloud will disperse tomorrow morning. Then it will be mainly dry with variable amounts of cloud and sunny spells. Highs of 18C (64F).

You can get the latest forecast for your area at BBC Weather.

Colchester United's Drey Wright signs new one-year contract

BBC Sport

Drey Wright
Getty Images

Colchester United winger Drey Wright has signed a new one-year contract with the League Two-bound club.

The 21-year-old made 13 appearances this season, but started only once in a goalless draw against Shrewsbury.

In the news: Family of Chris May 'need answers'... 'Human cargo' made cries for help

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Good afternoon, here are the top stories from Essex Live: 

  • The family of Chris May, whose disappearance in Essex last year is now being treated as murder, say they "need answers"  
  • "Human cargo" sealed inside a container brought into the UK via Tilbury made cries for help which was heard by port workers, a jury at Basildon Crown Court heard
  • Colchester United winger Drey Wright has signed a new one-year contract with the League Two-bound club  

Family of Chris May 'need answers'

The family of Chris May say they "need answers" to his death, which is now being treated as a murder investigation one year after he first disappeared. 

BBC Look East reporter Richard Daniel has been to meet his mother Lorraine May and sisters Charlene and Gemma who are still struggling to come to terms with his disappearance.

John says he's caught bigger - so are stingray common in Essex?

John says this isn't the first time he has caught a large stingray off the Essex coast, which may seem a bit unusual if you're not a keen angler.  

However, certain breeds are common in British waters and rays around the world thrive in habitats such as the sea, estuaries, rivers and streams, according to BBC Nature

If you're unnerved by the famous barbed stinger on the tail, it's only used in self-defence, often when they are stepped on in shallow waters. Here's some NHS advice if you're ever stung. 

Stingrays
BBC

'Massive' stingray caught off the coast of St Osyth

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

Stingray
John Popplewell

Check out this hefty 45lb (20.4kg) stingray that was landed off the coast of St Osyth on Monday morning by fisherman John Popplewell. 

"It was returned alive and kicking after the photograph! We just had to mind out for its venomous tail," he said. 

Tilbury docks people-smuggling trial: 'Human cargo' sealed in container

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

"Human cargo" sealed inside a container brought into the UK made cries for help which was heard by port workers, a jury heard.

Tilbury Docks
AFP/Getty Images

Meet Singh Kapoor was found dead in the container being transported from Belgium to Tilbury in August 2014. He was one of 35 Afghan Sikhs in the container, Basildon Crown Court was told.

Northern Irish lorry drivers Stephen McLaughlin, 36, and Martin McGlinchey, 49, deny conspiring to smuggle illegal immigrants into the UK. The trial continues. 

Video: Chris May murder probe

Let's return to the story of Chris May, whose disappearance a year ago is now being investigated as a murder

BBC Look East reporter Richard Daniel has been to the village of Fairstead where the 28-year-old's car was found.

Second owl hatches on live webcam

Before reading this next post, I must warn you you'll probably spend the next few hours glued to watching a live feed of an owl in a nest box...

That's because a second chick has been born, and it was caught hatching on the Essex Wildlife Trust's live Barn Owl webcam. 

If you've only just heard about this you haven't missed all the action, as one egg is still to hatch and you can watch the feed here

Owl
Essex Wildlife Trust

Help an Essex commuter find her lost sapphire engagement ring

#findthesapphire

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

This engagement ring belongs to a woman called Sarah. Sadly on her way to work today the sapphire fell out of it and now she needs your help to track it down.

Engagement ring
Sarah Manby

She was on the 08:18 train from Colchester to Chelmsford and it was at some point on that journey the stone disappeared. 

"It has such happy memories of the day we got engaged, which was at Colchester Zoo next to the penguin enclosure," Sarah told me.

"The thought that Chris chose this ring specifically for me means a great deal and I can't imagine being without it." 

Share on social media using #findthesapphire and hopefully we can get it back to Sarah!

Engineers en route to assess c2c line problem

Rail delays after object gets caught on overhead wires at Purfleet

BBC Travel

There are delays of up to 45 minutes on c2c services between Fenchurch Street and Grays due to an object being caught on the overhead electric wires at Purfleet.

Trains may be delayed or cancelled until 15:00. 

Can we have some sunshine please?

It's looking a bit grey around Essex today...

Stapleford Abbots
BBC
Ridgewell
BBC
Blackmore
BBC

Your pictures: Inquisitive otters at Colchester Zoo

Thanks to Alan Conran who emailed us this photo of some rather inquisitive otters at Colchester Zoo.

Otters
Alan Conran

He said they are "probably wondering why everyone is lined up staring at them!" 

Share your photos with us using #esxlive.

Weather: Cloudy and feeling chilly this lunchtime

BBC Weather

It's set to be a cloudy and chilly afternoon. Most places will remain dry though. 

Maximum temperature: 13C (55F).

Weather
BBC

If you're heading out you'll find the latest forecast for your area at BBC Weather.

In the news: Chris May murder probe... Arrest in 'unprovoked' suspected acid attack

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good afternoon. If you're just joining us, here are the stories we've covered on Essex Live so far:

  • The disappearance of Chris May from Kelvedon last seen a year ago is now being treated as a murder case, it has emerged
  • A 17-year-old has been arrested in connection with an "unprovoked" suspected acid attack which left five teenage boys with burns
  • Members of the University and College Union are on strike at universities in Essex this morning

Stuck on the M11 earlier? Here's why

There have been no reports of any injuries...

View more on twitter

University staff offered 'no overtime or extra rewards'

Richard Smith

BBC Essex

The vice president of the local University and College Union explained to me why some staff at the University of Essex are walking out for two days. 

Picket
BBC

Prof Peter Patrick said: "We're technically on a 36-hour work week, but most of the academics I know work more than 50 hours and there's no overtime or extra rewards".

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association called the action "disappointing", saying the pay offer is a good one. It maintained the weighting of the offer means the worst paid university staff will get a rise of more than 5%.

Essex university staff strike over pay

Richard Smith

BBC Essex

I've been to the University of Essex's Wivenhoe campus where a strike is taking place.

Members of the University and College Union are walking out for two days in a nationwide pay dispute. 

Picket
BBC

Images of burns suffered by acid attack victims at South Ockendon railway station

Family members of two boys burned in the suspected acid attack in South Ockendon released these images on Facebook in an appeal for information. They have since been shared thousands of times.

Billy Milne (below) suffered burns to his nose, eyebrow area and around his right ear.

Burns
Facebook

Meanwhile, Tyrone Terry (below) also has burn marks on his face.

Tyrone Terry
Facebook

Boy, 17, arrested over South Ockendon suspected acid attack

We've now got some more news to tell you about that has just come in this morning... 

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested after five teenagers were left burned in a suspected acid attack at South Ockendon railway station on Sunday morning. 

South Ockendon
Geograph/David Kemp

One of the victims, a boy, 17, suffered significant burns to the eyes, another was badly burned on the mouth and tongue, while three others were left with minor injuries.

British Transport Police said the suspect from Dagenham contacted the force and is helping with its enquiries.

Essex Police: How to contact for the force with information about Chris May

Anyone with information about the Chris May case is asked to contact the investigation team on 101 or email: scdappeals@essex.pnn.police.uk.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via an anonymous reporting form at crimestoppers-uk.org.

Chris May
Essex Police

Chris May 'whereabouts' letter transcript

This is the transcript in full of one of four letters received by police from an anonymous author which claims to know the whereabouts of Chris May. 

Letter transcript
BBC

Two other letters were determined to be hoaxes by officers. 

Chris May 'a loving son, brother and uncle'

Chris May's disappearance left a "huge hole in his family", said the detective investigating the case.

Chris May
Essex Police

"They have been without answers for the last year and I am determined to do as much as I possibly can to bring closure to them and find out what happened to him," said Det Ch Insp Marina Ericsson.

"To lose a loved one in any circumstances is difficult, but to have so many unanswered questions for so long is a heartbreaking position to be in, and one I hope someone will be able to help me rectify for his family."

Chris May: The story so far

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Here's what we have learned so far on the Chris May case:

  • On 25 May 2015 the 28-year-old disappeared. A year on Essex Police says it's now treating the case as a murder inquiry.
  • Det Ch Insp Marina Ericsson said there's a "strong likelihood that Chris' involvement with drugs is linked to his death".
  • Since the force began investigating the case, it has received four anonymous letters claiming to know Chris' whereabouts. Two have turned out to be hoaxes.

Map of Chris May's last known journey

This map, released by Essex Police, shows Chris May's last known journey.

Outbound
Essex Police
Return
Essex Police

Four anonymous letters received claiming to know Chris' whereabouts

Four letters have been sent by anonymous authors to police claiming to know information about Chris' whereabouts, and suggested he had come to harm. 

Two of the letters have been proven to be hoaxes.

Letter
Essex Police

But one of the other two letters claims the 28-year-old "had to go missing as there is a heavy drug firm after him as he owes them money". 

"He will contact his family soon when he thinks it's safe he said he loves them all but is not in good mind state who can help", it read.

Chris May's last movements captured on CCTV

Essex Police has released CCTV and pictures of Chris May's final movements on 25 May 2015.

09:38: Chris' silver VW Golf is captured on CCTV travelling along Colchester Road towards Witham town centre.

CCTV
Essex Police

09:53 (displayed time 09:59): His silver VW Golf is captured on CCTV on Witham Road, White Notley, travelling in the general direction of Braintree.

CCTV
Essex Police

10:25: Chris' car is involved in a crash with a passing vehicle and trailer, resulting in damage to the offside of the vehicle.

CCTV
Essex Police

11:30: The car is found parked facing into Troy's Chase footpath, Fairstead. The wing mirror is bent in on offside of the car.

Car dumped
Essex Police

'Strong likelihood' drugs linked to Chris May's death

Missing man Chris May was a drug user and dealt in ecstasy, cocaine and mephedrone, according to Det Ch Insp Marina Ericsson, who added: "There is a strong likelihood that Chris' involvement with drugs is linked to his death."

Chris May
Essex Police

There are a number of questions I still need to answer and I am appealing for the public’s help to get that information. How was he killed? Where? Who by? And where is his body?”

Det Ch Insp Marina EricssonEssex Police

Chris May: From missing person to murder inquiry

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

Missing Chris May
BBC

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

Essex Police said the information was withheld from the public as part of the investigation.

Missing Chris May case now treated as murder probe

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

Chris May
Essex Police

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

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

Good morning

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to Essex Live.

We start this morning with the news that the disappearance of Chris May from Kelvedon last seen a year ago today is now being treated as a murder case. 

More on that shortly.