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11th October 2009 MURDER INVESTIGATION LAUNCH AFTER MAY HILL MAN'S BODY FOUND IN THE RIVER FROME
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Police in Herefordshire have launched a murder investigation after the recovery of a body from the River Frome at Avenbury, near Bromyard just before 3.45pm on Wednesday, 7th October. The man has now been identified as Thomas Holt, aged 36, from May Hill, Longhope and was known as Tom by his family and friends. Mr. Holt was not married and has no children.

A man and a woman were arrested in Ledbury on suspicion of murder in the early hours of Sunday, 11th October and are currently being questioned by detectives at Hereford Police Station. A vehicle has also been seized for forensic examination. A post mortem examination has been carried out but the exact cause of death has not yet been established and further tests are currently being carried out.

The post mortem has not been able to establish when Tom died but detectives believe that he may have been in the water for at least a week before his body was discovered.

Detectives are now appealing for information about Mr Holt's whereabouts since the end of August when he was last seen by his family in May Hill.

Tom is described as being white, with longish brown hair. He was approximately five feet nine inches tall.

Detective Inspector Dave Llewellin, who is leading a team of more than 50 officers and police staff working on the enquiry, said: 'We need to know more about what Tom was doing and

where he has been since he last saw his family at the end of August. We know that he had friends in and around Lydney and the Forest of Dean and connections in Gloucester and I would like to appeal directly to anyone who knew Tom to contact us if they have seen him in recent weeks. We are also keen to hear from anyone in and around Bromyard and Ledbury who thinks they may know Tom and have seen him in the area since the end of August.'

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room at Hereford on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Continued below with latest updates.....


12th OCTOBER - Detectives appeal for further information in murder enquiry

Police in Herefordshire investigating the murder of Tom Holt, aged 36, from May Hill near Longhope in Gloucestershire have today made a new appeal for witnesses and information. Two people, a man and a woman, arrested in Ledbury on Sunday 11th October on suspicion of murder remain in custody assisting police with their enquiries at this time. Tom Holt's body was recovered from the River Frome at Avenbury, near Bromyard just before 3.45pm on Wednesday 7th October.

Detective Inspector Dave Llewellin who is leading the investigation said: 'We are conducting house to house enquiries in and around Avenbury and we would like to hear from anyone who may have seen any unusual or suspicious activity in the area, particularly around the area of St Mary's Church in Avenbury which is no longer in use but is well known to the local community.'

'We are particularly keen to focus on unusual or suspicious activity or vehicles seen in the area in September. We also still want to hear from anyone who may have seen or spoken to Tom since he was last seen by his family at the end of August. We know that he has connections to Lydney, the Forest of Dean and Gloucester as well as Bromyard and Ledbury.'

'I would urge anyone with information, no matter how insignificant it appears, to come forward and speak to us.'

Over 50 police officers and police staff are currently working on the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room at Hereford on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


12th OCTOBER - Man and a Woman appear in Court in connection with the murder of Thomas Holt

West Mercia Police investigating the murder of Tom Holt, aged 36, from May Hill near Longhope in Gloucestershire have today confirmed. A man and a women appeared before Herefordshire Magistrates this morning in connection with the murder of Thomas Holt.

A warrant of further detention was authorized for both until midnight on Tuesday 13th October, 2009. Both remain in custody within Herefordshire.

West Mercia Police confirm investigations are on going and appeal again for anyone who has any information about Tom Holt to contact the incident room at Hereford on 0300 333 3000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


13th OCTOBER - Detectives granted extra time to question suspects

West Mercia Police in Herefordshire have today, Tuesday, 13th October, been granted extra time by the court to keep two people held on suspicion of murder in custody for a further period of time as enquiries into the murder of Tom Holt continue.

Tom Holt was 36 and came from May Hill, Longhope in Gloucestershire. His body was recovered from the River Frome at Avenbury, near Bromyard just before 3.45pm on Wednesday, 7th October. A man and a woman were arrested in Ledbury on suspicion of murder on Sunday.

Detective Inspector Dave Llewellyn is leading the enquiry. He has made a number of appeals for witnesses and information who may be able to tell detectives about Tom's last known movements. The last confirmed sighting was at the end of August when he visited his family at May Hill, near Longhope, Gloucestershire. Tom is known to have connections to Lydney and the Forest of Dean and in Gloucester. Police are also keen to hear of any sightings in Bromyard or Ledbury in Herefordshire.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room at Hereford on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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