Huge manhunt ends after body of suspect Jed Allen in murder of sister, mum and her partner is found
The body of a man suspected of the triple murder of his schoolgirl half-sister, his mother and her partner was found last night in Oxford after a huge 48-hour police manhunt.
The discovery of the body of 21-year-old Jed Allen in woodland beside the city's Cherwell river appeared to bring the hunt for the perpetrator of the killings to a close after Thames Valley Police revealed they were seeking no one else in connection with the tragedy.
The gardener, whose remains were found by two members of the public next to the sports ground of an Oxford University college, had arrived in the city on Saturday afternoon shortly before the bodies of Philip Howard (44), Janet Jordon (48), and her six-year-old daughter, Derin, were found at their home in nearby Didcot.
Allen, a tattooed bodybuilder who had modelled himself on the comic-book hero Wolverine, knew the area where his body was found well, having previously worked in the nearby Oxford University Parks.
Footage from a CCTV camera in Oxford station released by police earlier yesterday had shown him, apparently calm, buying a large bottle of water on Saturday before heading towards the parkland, prompting police search teams consisting of dozens of officers to focus on the area.
It was not immediately clear last night how or when Allen had died.
In a statement, Detective Superintendent Chris Ward, who is leading the investigation, said: "Our investigation continues but we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the murders. My condolences go out to the families and loved ones."
Mr Ward, who said an inquest would be carried out in due course, said though the body found in Marston Road, Oxford, had not been formally identified, he was satisfied it was Jed Allen.
He said: "The body was discovered in an area of woodland accessible by two members of the public. This area had not previously been searched by police."
Allen, a fan of Wolverine who dotted his social media postings with images of himself impersonating the bad-tempered X-Men character, was named as the chief suspect in the killings within hours of the discovery of the bodies of his family members at 8.20pm on Saturday.
Prior to the discovery of his body, police revealed that they had found what they believed to be the murder weapon, understood to be a knife, in the redbrick, semi-detached house where the family, including Allen, had lived.
Allen, who had several tattoos, including an image of a black widow spider on his left hand, had in recent months posted videos online expressing anger about his life.
Derin's young friends struggled to come to terms with her killing.
Parents with their young children flocked to All Saints primary school in Didcot, where she was a Year One pupil, to leave flowers and teddy bears.
Some could be seen crying outside the gates, visibly distraught at such terrible news.
A community centre next to the school was opened to give local people a place where they could grieve together.