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VIDEO: Manhunt on after the murder of Diana Lee
THIS is the man that police are hunting in connection with the Diana Lee murder investigation.
Police have released an e-fit of a hooded suspect who was seen attempting to torch Mrs Lee’s Vauxhall Corsa in Smith Lane, Mobberley, at about 10.30am on August 9.
After being disturbed, he rode off on a blue women’s pedal bike before abandoning it in Pepper Street and fled across the fields towards Ashley.
Mrs Lee was found dead from head wounds on the same morning at Parklands Cattery in Byley Lane, Cranage.
The major investigation team at Cheshire Police has also stressed that the investigation is ongoing after another suspect - a 48-year-old man from Hale - was arrested on August 9.
Det Supt Martin Cleworth said: “There was an early arrest, and we’re certainly not ruling that suspect out, but this is very much an open investigation.
“The person we’re looking for is critical to that.”
He is described as a white male with an athletic build and weathered complexion aged between 40 and 50.
The suspect is thought to be between 5ft 8 and 5ft 10 and one witness said he was wearing jet black sunglasses.
Detectives are also retracing Mrs Lee’s steps on the evening before her death on August 8.
The 54-year-old went for a night out with friends in Knutsford at the Wine Bar and Man Zen restaurant in King Street.
She left the restaurant at about 10.15pm and her Corsa (registration SA59 NOU) was then recorded on a traffic camera at 10.35pm heading north towards Mere.
At 11.17pm she was making her way back to her Cranage home.
Det Supt Cleworth said: “We see this as significant as we do not know where she went between these times or who she may have met.”
On the morning of her death, Mrs Lee’s car was at her home until around 10am when it was seen leaving towards Middlewich, away from the A50.
A fire then spread through the garage and it has also emerged that there were attempts to destroy the entire property.
Det Supt Cleworth added: “There’s been a determined effort to burn it to the ground and it failed.
“Emergency services attending made the grim discovery of the deceased body in the garage.
“We believe the person responsible may have been known to Diana as there was no sign of forced entry at her house.
“We also believe that he will know the area of Cranage and Mobberley well and most likely will have been acting differently since the morning of Thursday, August 9.
“We really need the public’s help with this. We’re asking people to think back and try and remember any activity in this area that was at all strange.
“We believe what was seen will be the key to this investigation. We would also like to stress that we do have ways to forensically eliminate people from this investigation.”
- Anyone with information, however small, is urged to contact Cheshire Police on 101 quoting Operation Springfield.