Long Melford deaths: Ruse family 'overwhelmed' by support

Ruse & Sons, Long Melford
Image caption Floral tributes have been left at the Ruse family's house next door to the shop on Hall Street

The family of a village butcher, who was found dead on the same day as his wife, say they have been "overwhelmed" by support from the local community.

Oliver Ruse, 37, of Long Melford, Suffolk was found at a car park in Bury St Edmunds on Thursday lunchtime.

His wife, Deborah, 39, was found at a house in Long Melford in the afternoon.

A statement on the Ruse & Son butcher's shop website said: "The family are devastated by the loss of a wonderful son, brother and father."

Suffolk Police said they were treating the death of Deborah Ruse as suspicious and the death of Oliver Ruse as unexplained.

Image caption Flowers have been left by the couple's four daughters, who are aged between eight and 16
Image caption The shop was closed on Friday, the day after the two bodies were found, but it reopened on Saturday

The results of post-mortem examinations have yet to be made public by the force.

'Kind words'

Mr Ruse was the fifth generation of his family to take charge of the butcher's shop on Hall Street in Long Melford, which was established in 1860.

The BBC understands that Mrs Ruse, who was born in Zambia, had recently returned to the village after a period of living abroad.

The couple have left four daughters, aged 8, 11, 13 and 16.

Image caption Oliver Ruse took over from his father Henry to become the fifth generation of his family to run the shop

The statement on the Ruse website also said: "We are extremely sad to announce the death of Oliver Ruse.

"We have been overwhelmed by the kind words, floral tributes and offers of help and support at this difficult time.

"We will be continuing the family business of Ruse and Son as Oliver would have wished.

"Please hold his daughters in your prayers."

The shop re-opened on Saturday, with Oliver's father Henry Ruse back behind the counter.

A book of condolence has been put on a table outside the shop and floral tributes have been left outside the family's house next door.

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