Colchester: Search for murder weapon continues in wake of James Attfield’s death

Police at the scene in Castle Park in Colchester after a body was discovered. Police at the scene in Castle Park in Colchester after a body was discovered.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
5:34 PM

The search has continued today for the weapon used in the murder of a vulnerable man in Colchester.

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Detectives have said “the answer is out there” but are keen to make a break-through in their investigation.

The body of James Attfield, of East Bay, Colchester, was found by a passer-by in Castle Park shortly before 5.30am on Saturday.

Efforts by paramedics at the scene to revive him failed and Mr Attfield, 33, was declared dead an hour later.

A post mortem examination revealed Mr Attfield, known as Jim, had been stabbed 102 times.

Forensic teams from Essex Police today carried out a fingertip search of part of the park.

A nearby lake which has been partially drained over the past two days is set to be searched tomorrow for the murder weapon, believed to be a knife.

Residents in nearby homes were asked to check their gardens for the potentially discarded weapon during a press conference on Monday.

In a bid to work out the victim’s final movements a poster appealing for information has been put up around the area.

The public have been invited to download a copy of the poster from the Essex Police website and put it up in their community.

CCTV footage released by Essex Police earlier this week showed Mr Attfield drinking in the River Lodge pub, in Middleborough, Colchester, before leaving at 10.09pm on Friday evening.

But detectives are still trying to work out what Mr Attfield did between exiting the pub, leaving behind three-quarters of a pint of beer, and his body being found.

A charity supporting people with head injuries has paid tribute to James Attfield.

Headway Essex had been supporting the 33-year-old over the past three years after he suffered a brain injury in a car crash four years ago.

Jo Wright, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Everyone at Headway Essex is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Jim.

“He was a lovely, quiet, polite and gentle person who had made many friends through Headway.

“He will be greatly missed by our staff, volunteers and clients who have been deeply affected by this tragic incident.

“We will continue to support our clients, many of whom are vulnerable adults, through this difficult time as they mourn the loss of their friend.

“Jim had made great progress in overcoming the challenges he faced as a result of his brain injury and was determined to become independent again.

“It has been our privilege to have supported him along this journey of recovery.

“Jim was passionate about the support Headway provides and actively promoted the issues that resulted from brain injury, while also helping to raise awareness and understanding of living with the effects of brain injury.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

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