Video: Daughter was strangled a week before mother was found dead in house
Published 06/12/2011 | 07:40
A FORMER Avon lady may have been murdered up to a week before her elderly mother was strangled in the same house, police fear.
An international manhunt was under way for the lodger of Angela Holgate, 54, who was found dead alongside her 75-year-old mother, Alice Huyton.
Barry Morrow, 51, is believed to be in France or Spain. It emerged yesterday that he had a conviction for assaulting a woman to whom he later sent a birthday card.
Police said they believe Miss Holgate was killed before her mother. Mrs Huyton had gone to visit her daughter on Friday night having not heard from her in a week. Miss Holgate, a divorcee with two grown-up daughters, was said to have been ill and had not been seen out of the house.
Detectives are examining the theory that Mrs Huyton was invited to the house in Southport, Merseyside, after telephoning because she had not heard from her daughter.
Yesterday, Miss Holgate’s son-in-law, Colin Hyde, described the moment he found them dead together in Miss Holgate’s house.
“We had become concerned for them so I went round,” he said. “Alice’s husband had gone round to the house first but couldn’t get in. I then went to the house, and found them together upstairs.”
Post mortem examination results showed that Miss Holgate, who is believed to have had a brief relationship with Mr Morrow, and her mother had both been strangled.
Last year Mr Morrow, who has an estranged wife and child in Blackpool, pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman, and then broke his bail conditions by contacting her with a birthday card.
Ch Supt Nikki Holland, of Merseyside police, said Mr Morrow’s last known movements were in France at 7.20pm UK time on Saturday, about 90 minutes after the bodies were found. He had driven to Dover in Miss Holgate’s Citroen to catch the ferry to Calais.
Ms Holland said he was not being treated as a suspect but as someone who may have important information.
“Barry Morrow has been a lodger at the address and he is potentially the last person to have seen both ladies alive. It is on that basis we urgently need to speak to him because he may have information appertaining to our inquiries,” said Ms Holland.
“Our inquiries led us to believe that he had gone from Dover to Calais and beyond Calais. We have no sighting of him.
“The indication is that Angela has been dead longer than Alice. She hadn’t spoken to her daughter for a week.”
Mr Morrow had previously lived in Spain and also has connections to properties in France.
Police added that there was no sign of a burglary at Miss Holgate’s house and said that while Morrow was not a danger to the public, people should avoid approaching him.