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Welsh murder suspect still on-the-run after sighting in Belfast

Police believe Mr Ellis may have sought accommodation or work in Northern Ireland

By Claire Williamson

Published 28/08/2015

Police investigating the murder of a 59-year-old man in Wales have issued a further appeal to track down the victim's tenant, who was last seen in Belfast.

The PSNI are assisting South Wales Police with their murder probe following the disappearance of Alec Warburton.

Detectives launched a murder investigation after Mr Warburton was reported missing from his home in Vivian Road, Sketty in Swansea on Sunday August 2.

He was last seen during the afternoon of Friday July 31.

Police are now trying to trace a tenant of Mr Warburton - 40-year-old David Ellis - who lives at the same address.

Neither Mr Warburton or Mr Ellis have been found.

Mr Ellis travelled on the Stena Line Lagan ferry from Birkenhead to Belfast on the 10.30pm crossing on Wednesday August 5 which docked at Belfast at 6.30am on Thursday August 6.

Mr Ellis was seen to leave the ferry at 6.58am that morning when he was wearing a checked shirt, jeans and a cap carrying a distinctive holdall and rucksack.

Police believe Mr Ellis took a taxi from Victoria Terminal 2 at Belfast Port and was dropped off at the Europa Bus Station.

There have been further possible sightings of him on a train and at a railway station which are being followed up.

Detective Superintendent Paul Hurley said: "Our investigation and search for Mr Warburton and Mr Ellis continues and we are working with colleagues in North Wales and Northern Ireland to carry out enquiries.

“Since our previous appeal for information to trace Mr Ellis in Northern Ireland we have followed up a number of possible sightings of him since he arrived in Belfast on August 6.

“I once again appeal to anyone who has seen Mr Ellis since his arrival in Belfast to come forward. He may have looked for a lift, for accommodation or for work.”

Det Supt Hurley added: “Any piece of information, no matter how small it may seem, could prove crucial in us locating Mr Ellis.

“If you are out walking in the areas of Betws y Coed or Dolwyddelan in North Wales over this Bank Holiday weekend please be on the look-out for anything suspicious or unusual and report it to police.

“I also appeal directly to David Craig Ellis to contact the police as I believe that you hold the information we need to establish the circumstances of Alec Warburton and assist his family and the police in locating him.”

Anyone with information should contact South Wales Police on 101 quoting occurrence number 1500280779 or the incident room on 01792 562732 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Timeline of the key events in the disappearance of Swansea man Alec Warburton

July 31: Alec Warburton is last seen alive.

August 1: Mr Warburton's car is driven from south to north Wales. The vehicle is a Peugeot 205 Mardi Gras, with the reg plate M805HFJ. It is seen going between Caersws and Betws-Y-Coed.

August 2: Mr Warburton is officially reported missing. His car arrives back in Swansea the same day.

August 5: Mr Warburton's car is driven northwards again - this time to Birkenhead. It is later discovered at the Merseyside town's ferry port.

August 6: David Ellis, 40, who was Mr Warburton's lodger, steps off a ferry and arrives in Belfast at 6.58am. He is wearing a checked shirt, jeans and a cap carrying a distinctive hold-all and rucksack. Police launch a missing persons appeal. Forensic officers are seen outside Mr Warburton's home in Vivian Road, Sketty.

August 11: South Wales Police now say Mr Warburton's death is being treated as murder.

August 14: Detectives stage fresh appeal for information and release CCTV images of Mr Warburton's car.

August 21: Police say they have since found Mr Warburton's car in Merseyside - and the vehicle has been subject to a full forensic examination.

Further reading:

Manhunt as suspect in Welsh killing flees to Northern Ireland

Murder hunt switches to Ulster after tenant seen on ferry

PSNI join probe after murdered Swansea man's tenant seen on ferry to Belfast  

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