Police release CCTV of ‘extremely dangerous’ fugitive linked to three murders


A triple murder suspect has this morning been arrested in a Staffordshire village following a six day manhunt.

Officers on patrol discovered Anthony Russell in a red Ford C-Max – stolen in a car-jacking in Leamington Spa on Wednesday afternoon – in a country lane in Rolleston-on-Dove at around 4am.

He has been arrested on suspicion of murder and robbery.

West Midlands Police launched a manhunt for Russell after the bodies of a mother and her son were found dead in flats in Coventry.

Julie Williams, 58, was found murdered just before 11pm on Sunday after concerns were raised about her welfare.

Her 32-year-old son David was reported missing the day before and was found dead at around 11.30pm on Tuesday.   

Two days later, police discovered the body of a missing woman on Newbold Comyn – a country park near Leamington Spa, 11 miles from the scene of the first two deaths.

She has now been formally identified as 31-year-old Nichola McGregor, from Leamington.

The body of David Williams, 32, was discovered 24 hours after his mother Julie Williams was found dead in her flat in Coventry

Police have arrested Anthony Russell (pictured left), 38, who they said was ‘considered dangerous’. It comes as the body of David Williams (pictured right), 32, was discovered 24 hours after his mother Julie Williams was found dead in her flat in Coventry

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Payne said today: ‘The deaths of three people in the Midlands region this week have been shocking and devastating for the families involved.

‘Our thoughts remain with them as they come to terms with the tragic circumstances of their deaths.

‘We are grateful to everyone who has assisted with our appeals for information, but although we have a suspect in custody, our investigation must now establish exactly what has happened.’

The ‘extremely dangerous’ suspect had last been caught on camera three days ago in the posh town of Leamington Spa. 

Detectives had urged anyone who knows of the whereabouts to dial 999 immediately.

Assistant Chief Constable Jayne Meir said earlier: ‘We have been searching for Anthony since the weekend after he was linked to a double murder in Coventry.

Pictured: Julie Williams, 58, was found dead at her flat in Emily Smith House, Riley Square, Coventry on Sunday night

Pictured: Julie Williams, 58, was found dead at her flat in Emily Smith House, Riley Square, Coventry on Sunday night

The hunt came after the body of Mrs Williams, 58, was discovered at her flat at Emily Smith House, Riley Square, just before 11pm on Sunday. Pictured: Police at the scene

The hunt came after the body of Mrs Williams, 58, was discovered at her flat at Emily Smith House, Riley Square, just before 11pm on Sunday. Pictured: Police at the scene

‘Officers have identified a third body within Newbold Comyn in Warwickshire and we consider Anthony Russell is linked and is likely to have committed that offence.

‘It’s essential the public come forward with any information they have as to the whereabouts of Anthony.

‘Anthony is a dangerous individual and members of the public should come forward with any information and dial 999. They should not approach him.

‘We’re working closely with Warwickshire Police to locate and arrest Anthony Russell. If you have any information do not hesitate to call 999.

‘I can’t stress enough how important it us that we find and arrest Russell, and we really need the public’s help to do that.’

A 36-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder has been bailed with conditions.

The causes of Julie and David’s deaths are yet to be established, and post-mortems are due to take place in due course.

Russell has links to Coventry as well as Warwickshire and he sometimes sleeps rough and is a drug user.

He was previously jailed for two and a half years in 2012 after trying to break into the home of a woman who had offered him help while he was homeless.

The Good Samaritan had took Russell back to her home and given him money and a warm jacket when she saw him on the streets.

But months later he tried to steal from her Leamington property while her husband was having a transplant operation.

Mrs Williams was discovered at her flat at Emily Smith House, Riley Square, just before 11pm on Sunday.

The discovery of her body followed concerns for her welfare. 

Mr Williams, who lived with his mother, was last seen on October 20 and reported missing on Saturday evening.

He was found dead at a nearby flat, also in Riley Square, at around 11.30pm on Monday.  

Post-mortem examinations have yet to take place to determine the cause of their deaths, a force spokesperson said.

Russell, of no fixed address, but with links to Coventry, is ‘considered extremely dangerous’ by police. 

It is thought he could have travelled south, possibly to Plymouth, Devon or Cornwall. 

Police say he has links Coventry as well as Warwickshire and they are urgently appealing for information about his whereabouts.  

Mr Williams, who was last seen on October 20 and reported missing on Saturday evening, was found dead at a nearby flat, also in Riley Square, at around 11.30pm on Monday. Pictured: Police at the scene

Mr Williams, who was last seen on October 20 and reported missing on Saturday evening, was found dead at a nearby flat, also in Riley Square, at around 11.30pm on Monday. Pictured: Police at the scene

Post-mortem examinations have yet to take place to determine the cause of their deaths, West Midlands Police said. Pictured: Police at the scene

Post-mortem examinations have yet to take place to determine the cause of their deaths, West Midlands Police said. Pictured: Police at the scene

West Midlands Police (pictured: An officer at the scene) have launched a double murder investigation

West Midlands Police (pictured: An officer at the scene) have launched a double murder investigation

Speaking about the deaths of Mr and Mrs Williams, Detective Inspector Jim Mahon, from West Midlands Police homicide team, said: ‘These deaths are very sad and my thoughts are with David and Julie’s family at this difficult time.

‘Our investigation continues at significant pace but we need to find Russell as soon as possible.

‘I’m urging anyone with information about where he is to get in touch with us straight away.’ 

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