MURDER INVESTIGATION: Weybread pensioner had been dead for at least two days before body found

Sylvia and Peter Stuart.
Sylvia and Peter Stuart.

Murdered Weybread pensioner Peter Stuart had been dead for at least two days before his body was found, police have said.

The 75-year-old died from multiple stab wounds. His body was found by police in woodland close to his home in Mill Lane.

Suffolk Police want to trace Ali Qazimaj as investigations into a Weybread couple's disappearance continue. ANL-160606-092704001

Suffolk Police want to trace Ali Qazimaj as investigations into a Weybread couple's disappearance continue. ANL-160606-092704001

Police are still searching for his missing wife, Sylvia, 69, who was first reported missing on June 3.

It has also emerged murder suspect Ali Qazimaj remained in the country for at least three days following the killing.

Police have refused to put a specific time frame on when he died, but police spokesman Lucy Sheehan said: “We believe he had been dead for a number of days.”

Qazimaj, a 42-year-old forklift truck driver from Tilbury, abandoned his Citroen C3 in Dover, on June 4.

Brick Kiln Cottage - home of Peter and Sylvia Stuart ANL-160806-185359009

Brick Kiln Cottage - home of Peter and Sylvia Stuart ANL-160806-185359009

He also used the name Marco Costa. He then boarded a ferry on foot at 7pm the same day and travelled to Calais.

He has not been seen since and is currently the subject of European-wide manhunt.

Police believe Qazimaj is from Kosovo.

He sought asylum after the conflict in the country ended in the late 1990s. This was granted and he was given a British passport.

Brick Kiln Cottage - home of Peter and Sylvia Stuart ANL-160806-185335009

Brick Kiln Cottage - home of Peter and Sylvia Stuart ANL-160806-185335009

However, since the hunt for him began, it has been suggested he may have stolen the identity of another Ali Qazimaj in Kosovo.

It has also been suggested he has a connection with an area near Tirana in Albania.

Detectives have declined to comment on these reports, or whether there were any traces of Mrs Stuart in Qazimaj’s Citroen.

The last sighting of Mr and Mrs Stuart was at Goodies Farm Shop in Pulham Market, Norfolk, on the morning of Sunday, May 29.

Yesterday police said they will broaden the search to find Mrs Stuart over the next few days, as well as possible stopping places en route to Essex. They have previously said Qazimaj travelled to Weybread and then back through Essex to Kent.

However, they have not given a timescale for the journey.

Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Parke, of Suffolk Police, said: “After carrying out work in the vicinity of the couple’s Weybread home, and at other locations linked to the enquiry, we are now expanding the search for Sylvia between Suffolk and Essex.”

A 61-year-old Leicester man, thought to be the couple’s son-in-law Steve Paxman, was arrested in connection with the murder on June 5.

He was bailed on Monday to return on August 3.