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Two more held over Linzi murder

Two more men have been arrested by police leading the manhunt for murder suspect Michael Cope.

Cope is wanted for the "sustained and vicious" murder of mother-of-two Linzi Ashton, whose body was found at her home in Winton, Salford, on Saturday.

Late on Tuesday night two men, aged 26 and 27, were arrested by Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

Officers have also been granted more time to question a 25-year-old man arrested on Monday. All three remain in custody on suspicion of assisting an offender, a police spokesman said.

On Tuesday police released CCTV footage of Cope buying snacks hours before it is believed the young mother was murdered. A reward of £5,000 has been offered for anyone who might be able to help trace the fugitive.

Cope, 28, was in a brief "acrimonious" relationship with Miss Ashton, a barmaid at the Duke of York pub in nearby Eccles. A Home Office post-mortem concluded she died as a result of pressure to the neck and multiple injuries.

Police had been seeking to arrest Cope since the end of April when Miss Ashton made a complaint of rape against him. Her body was discovered by a relative at her home in Westbourne Road shortly before 6pm on Saturday. Her two daughters, Daisy, two, and Destiny, seven, were not at the address at the time.

Police think Cope could still be in the Salford area.

The footage released by GMP shows Cope buying snacks, alcohol and soft drinks from Best One on Liverpool Road, Eccles, at about 10.45pm on Friday. Police think he went to see Miss Ashton after this sighting. He is wearing a black coat with the hood pulled up over his cap in an apparent attempt to partially cover his face.

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 5092, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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