November 1 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
US police believe the survival chances of the chief suspect in the murder of former Bury St Edmunds dance teacher Richard-Scott Rogers are “grim”.
Mathew Hodgkinson, who is said to have moved to America with Mr Rogers after he left Suffolk around 20 years ago, is clinging to life in a Louisiana hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in an apparent attempted murder-suicide pact.
Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said a second 36-year-old male had managed to get out of Mr Rogers’ home before any harm came to him.
The man also travelled to the US around 20 years ago with Mr Rogers and Mr Hodgkinson. All three lived in the same house. His daughter Kimberly Ann – Mr Hodgkinson’s wife - is believed to live elsewhere in Baton Rouge although she did stay at the house from time to time.
Mr Hodgkinson and the other man are believed to have met Mr Rogers, who was known in the US as Scott Rogers, through his work with The Academy of Dancing and Performing Arts in Fornham Road, Bury St Edmunds. Mr Rogers founded the company in 1983.
In 1995 Suffolk County Council issued a warning over an atmosphere like a religious cult involving a senior member at the academy which had around 500 pupils in the county. Two years earlier Mr Rogers had been acquitted of child sex charges at Inner London Crown Court.
Medical staff treating Mr Hodgkinson are desperately trying to save his life.
Sheriff Stassi said: “They originally told me the next 48 to 72 hours would be very important and there being no change (in his condition) is not a good sign.
“At this time it looks grim that we would ever have the chance to arrest him.
“I am going to meet with my investigators on Tuesday morning and see which direction we are going in.”
Mr Rogers is believed to have feared his life in the US was coming to a conclusion after a two-year-old child with special needs he was fostering was taken away from him. Police believe federal agents had made background checks and spotted Mr Rogers had lied on his immigration forms about never having been arrested in the UK.
Prior to the shootings the front and back doors of Mr Rogers’ home had been barricaded, police said.
Mr Rogers had rebuilt his life in the US and became a local TV talk show host in Baton Rouge.
He had also adopted a 10-year-old boy who had been taken from his care following the federal investigation. Mr Rogers was also going through the process of facing the Grand Jury.
Sheriff Stassi added: “The noose was tightening. That’s why the other guy (the third man in the house) said they had talked about a potential group suicide”.
“He decided that wasn’t the way his life was going to end.”
A note believed to be written by Mr Hodgkinson was found in Mr Rogers home. It read: “They broke our happy loving home. They do not get to take Scott too.”