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Search continues for missing Sylvia after body, thought to be her husband, is found in woodland

A murdered elderly pensioner’s body was found dumped in woodland 20 metres from his house, it emerged yesterday, Saturday June 4.

Peter Stuart’s body was discovered clothed in Weybread at around 7.15pm on Friday and was covered by a tent as police forensic officers examined it on Saturday.

Police continue to search in Weybread
Police continue to search in Weybread

No arrests have so far been made and police confirmed there are no suspects as of yet.

Following the grim discovery around 30 officers in white forensic clothing and police dogs were seen trawling the woodland behind the couple’s house for his wife, Sylvia, 65.

Speaking from outside their house yesterday, Saturday, Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Parkes said: “Peter and Sylvia Stewart were reported missing to us on Friday morning.

“We have been working through the course of yesterday to try and locate them and sadly yesterday evening about 7.15pm we found a body.

Sylvia and Peter Stuart, of Weybread, have not been seen since Saturday. ANL-160306-155421001
Sylvia and Peter Stuart, of Weybread, have not been seen since Saturday. ANL-160306-155421001

“That body is yet to be formally identified although we have every reason to think that it going to be Peter.

“Our real concern now is for the safety of Sylvia and that is where we are putting our energies into trying to locate her.

“There is a huge amount of work going on to see if Sylvia may be in the woods.

“We have got a whole raft of enquiries that we are doing at the moment to try and locate her.

Sylvia Stuart, of Weybread. ANL-160306-155442001
Sylvia Stuart, of Weybread. ANL-160306-155442001

“We are still hopeful that we can find her but we are exploring all the possibilities that are available to us.”

He added: “The mere fact that they are missing is almost unique in its own right.

“These aren’t the people that we would expect to find missing at any stage. It was the concern from the relatives and the neighbours which really caused us the concern.”

The couple’s car a Nissan hatchback was at the couple’s house yesterday.

Peter Stuart, of Weybread. ANL-160306-155431001
Peter Stuart, of Weybread. ANL-160306-155431001

No one has been arrested in relation to the murder so far and Det Con Parkes said they are investigating possible motives but nothing is “jumping out at” them yet.

He added: “This is an open investigation where we are exploring all the avenues.”

When asked about where the couple’s house had been burgled or ransacked Det Con Parkes would not comment.

He would not be drawn on how Mr Stuart was murdered but said: “There is a whole sequence of events which would appear to be completely out of character.

“The finding of the body and some of the evidence there leads us to draw that conclusion.”

Mr Stuart was last seen with his wife on Saturday, May 28, by relatives at a family gathering at their house.

Det Con Parkes said they were not aware of any family issues going on at the time of their murder.

He said: “We are looking to piece together the movement of Sylvia and Peter from that time (May 28) right up to the current time because we still haven’t given up hope of finding Sylvia alive.”

He added: “We are trying to find Sylvia and piece together what happened and who is responsible for Peter’s death.”

Suffolk police are working with Norfolk police in a joint investigation into the murder.

The police helicopter was used on Friday night to try and find heat sources in the woods behind the couple’s home.

Police dogs have also been used in the investigation.

The fire brigade were on scene to help the police search a stream in the woodland.

Fire officers were also seen entering the couple’s house.

Det Con Parkes said the police had so far had a limited response from the public and is appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

He said; “One of the purposes of today is to see if anyone has got any information about the movements of Peter and Sylivia from Saturday, May 28, through to today.”

Police officers are currently supporting the couple’s family.

The couple are both believed to be retired. They are not believed to own the woodland behind their house.

Mr Stuart’s body remained at the scene last night and a date for his post mortem has not yet been set.

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