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Kosovan immigrant held in Luxembourg on suspicion of murdering elderly couple

Published 17/06/2016

Ali Qazimaj has been arrested
Ali Qazimaj has been arrested

A Kosovan immigrant has been arrested in Luxembourg on suspicion of murdering an elderly couple, police said.

Ali Qazimaj, 42, is suspected of stabbing Peter Stuart, 75, to death and killing his wife Sylvia, 69, who is still missing.

Mr Stuart was found with multiple knife wounds in woodland near his home in Weybread, Suffolk, on Friday June 3.

Police are continuing to search for Mrs Stuart, who was last seen on May 29. Officers have said her disappearance is being treated as a murder.

Qazimaj was detained after a member of staff at a hostel in Luxembourg recognised him from a public appeal.

A Suffolk Police spokesman said: "A member of staff working at a hostel in Luxembourg identified Ali Qazimaj through photographs of him on the internet and then alerted authorities, who detained him.

"Detectives from Suffolk are now working with the National Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service and authorities in Luxembourg to seek Ali Qazimaj's extradition following the granting of a European Arrest Warrant relating to the murder of Peter and Sylvia Stuart."

Police carried out searches between the Stuarts' home and Tilbury, Essex, where Qazimaj lived, in their hunt for Mrs Stuart.

Qazimaj, a Kosovan immigrant who goes by the name Marco Costa, caught a ferry from Dover to Calais at around 6.30pm on Saturday June 4. He was unaccompanied on the journey.

He was living in Tilbury and had been working in Purfleet as a forklift driver.

Mr and Mrs Stuart were captured on CCTV walking into Goodies farm shop in Wood Lane in Pulham Market at around 10.20am on May 29.

A 61-year-old man from Leicester was arrested on suspicion of murder and released on bail to return to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre on August 3.

Speaking at Suffolk Police headquarters, Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Parkes said the search for Mrs Stuart had be widened to the 93-mile stretch between the couple's Suffolk home and Essex.

He said: "We have expanded the search significantly away from the home in the Weybread area. We are concentrating our efforts south from Weybread and down to the Tilbury area and will continue to do so.

"We searched all round the area where Peter was found and we have broadened that search out significantly and we have been looking at areas that have been associated with Ali Qazimaj and we have been responding to any information that we have had during the course of the investigation."

Officers previously said there was "very little hope" she would be found alive after going missing more than two weeks ago.

Mr Parkes said attempts to extradite Qazimaj were set to begin.

He said: "He is being detained in Luxembourg by authorities there. He will be going before a local court and that's where the extradition proceedings will commence."

He declined to comment on whether Qazimaj was known to the Stuarts.

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