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Guest house owner reveals how he ended hunt for Snettisham murderer

PUBLISHED: 05:59 24 May 2011

The murder of Becky Thorpe is not the only murder to have rocked Snettisham in living memory. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The murder of Becky Thorpe is not the only murder to have rocked Snettisham in living memory. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Archant © 2010

A guesthouse owner on the Isle of Wight ended the nationwide hunt for Michael Tucker when he dialled 999 after recognising the killer.

Tucker had left Norfolk on March 20 and caught a ferry from Southampton to the island after running out of excuses to explain Becky Thorpe’s disappearance.

According to owners Geoff and Jeanette Avison, he checked in just after 11am at the Bernay Hotel in Sandown, a two-minute walk from the beach.

Tucker then told the couple he had stayed at their B&B years ago and was now looking to buy property on the island.

On Tuesday, March 23, police had realised that Tucker was on the island and officers and a coastguard team were scouring clifftops and the beach in the Shanklin and Sandown areas.

The hunt ended when Mr Avison recognised Tucker from a missing person description released by police. He was arrested on suspicion of murder just after 9pm at the B&B.

The guesthouse owner said: “The man turned up and checked in on Tuesday night. He was no different to any other guest as far as we were aware.

“My wife and I went out shopping and on our return we found a call from the police saying they were looking for a missing person and it gave a description and I recognised our guest from it.

“I called the police and told them that I thought he might be here and they turned up and took him away.”

His wife Jeanette added: “He was just a run-of-the-mill guest. He was not scruffy and his demeanour was nothing out of the ordinary.

“It is normally lovely and quiet here and I am still shocked by what has happened. I just want to forget all about it.”

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