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Police appeals on Wisbech murders; arrests in stabbing case

PUBLISHED: 21:51 05 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 22 October 2010

Detectives investigating the death of a man at a Wisbech pub arrested two people tonight on suspicion of murder. The development came after detectives issued fresh appeals for help from members of the public today as they investigate the murder of Christopher Garford, 49, and the unrelated murder of Lithuanian man Dainus Kigas, 35, whose body was found in a burning van at Turnpike Court, off Norwich Road, Wisbech, in the early hours of Saturday.

Detectives investigating the death of a man at a Wisbech pub arrested two people tonight on suspicion of murder.

The man who died in the stabbing at the Wisbech Arms in Exchange Square on Saturday night was named by Cambridgeshire police today as Christopher Garford, 49, who lived with his family in the town.

A force spokesman said a 28-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man, both from Wisbech, had been arrested on suspicion of murdering Mr Garford. They were both taken to a police station at Peterborough for questioning.

The development came after detectives issued fresh appeals for help from members of the public today as they investigate the murder of Mr Garford, and the unrelated murder of Lithuanian man Dainus Kigas, 35, whose body was found in a burning van at Turnpike Court, off Norwich Road, Wisbech, in the early hours of Saturday.

Separate groups of specially-trained officers from Cambridge police's Major Investigation Team are investigating the two deaths.

Mr Garford's body was discovered by police who were called to reports of a disturbance outside the pub at about 11.40pm on Saturday. A post mortem revealed he died from multiple stab wounds.

Two people were injured during a fight that broke out in the pub, including a man who was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn, and a woman who suffered minor injuries.

A police cordon remained around the pub and blocked off part of Exchange Square today as scenes-of-crime experts continued a forensic examination of the area.

A police liaison officer was looking after Mr Garford's family, who were too upset to talk about the tragedy.

Officers renewed their appeal for information about two men who were believed to have been in the pub at the time. They are white, in their late 30s, about 5ft 6in tall with dark hair and clean-shaven. They were wearing jeans and T-shirts and are believed to have gone towards the town centre.

Det Supt Mark Birch, who is leading the inquiry - Operation Inverness - said officers were keen to speak to anyone who may have been in or around the Wisbech Arms late on Saturday evening who may have seen or heard anything suspicious.

Meanwhile, police are investigating the death of Mr Kigas, whose body was found in a burning blue Renault Trafic van. He is believed to have travelled frequently to Wisbech because he ran a company bringing Lithuanians into the area to look for work.

Det Chief Insp Paul Fullwood, who is leading this inquiry - Operation Horsford - said: “I would like to reiterate my appeal for information from anyone who may have seen this blue Renault van in or around Wisbech on Friday, June 2. We need as much information as possible to help establish exactly what happened in the hours leading up to Mr Kigas' death. If you saw this van or have any information which can help this inquiry, please call.”

Firefighters alerted police when they found his body in the Renault, which has Lithuanian number plates, in Turnpike Court, off Norwich Road, after they were called out just before 3am on Saturday following a report of a fire.

A post mortem examination on Saturday failed to establish the cause of death and the results of toxicology tests are awaited.

A 42-year-old Wisbech man arrested in connection with this incident has been released on police bail until July 4.

Police spokeswoman Kate Burke said: “Both deaths are unconnected so the inquiries are being run separately by different investigating officers.”

She added: “Extra patrols are out and about in the town to assist in getting information and chatting to members of the public.”

Both investigation teams involved in Operation Inverness and Operation Horsford can be contacted on 0845 456 4564 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


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