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Update: Detectives granted extra time to quiz Chantry Park murder suspect as victim is named as Christopher Thompson

PUBLISHED: 08:15 16 November 2012 | UPDATED: 11:47 16 November 2012

Police at  Chantry Park in Ipswich after a body was found in the park.

Police at Chantry Park in Ipswich after a body was found in the park.

Archant

POLICE have today named a man found dead after allegedly being strangled during an attack in Chantry Park.

Christopher Thompson, 35 and fomerly of London Road, Ipswich died of strangulation and assault injuries, a post mortem has revealed.

Detectives investigating the death have been granted an extra 12 hours to quiz a man arrested on suspicion of Mr Thompson’s murder.

At least one person who had been sleeping rough is understood to be at the centre of the murder inquiry.

A 42-year-old man is still in custody this morning after being held overnight by detectives from Suffolk Constabulary’s major investigation team.

The murder suspect was arrested at the park around 90 minutes after a man in his 30s was found dead by a dog walker at around 6.50am yesterday.

It is understood that homeless people were believed to have been sleeping in the park between the cricket pavilion and the Sue Ryder – The Chantry home during this week.

A tent was reportedly noticed on Monday. However, it may not have been immediately visible to people passing by as it was said to have been shielded to some extent by the undergrowth.

A source said at one stage a man and woman were believed to have been seen, and thought to have been connected to the tent being there.

Despite the area being monitored over the intervening three days, neither the man, nor the woman, were seen.

However, the tent remained in the park. There were no reported problems until the discovery of a man’s body yesterday.

Police are remaining tight-lipped about the nature of the deceased’s injuries at this stage.

A Home Office pathologist will be carrying out a post mortem to establish the cause of the man’s death.

Officers have said they will not be named the man until formal identification has taken place.

Detectives have said the 42-year-old, who is currently being held at Suffolk Constabulary’s police investigation centre in Martlesham, is from Ipswich.

The entrances to the park were cordoned off by police throughout yesterday and overnight, while crime scene enquiries continued.

Safer Neighbourhood Team officers also carried out patrols around the area last night to reassure residents.

Jonathan Ford, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “Police would like to thank members of the public for their patience and are asking that people do not try and gain entry to the park until further notice.

“Police are currently in the process of informing the man’s family and will not release his name until this is complete. However, the man is believed to be in his 30s and from the Ipswich area.”

The park is home to Ipswich and East Suffolk Cricket Club.

A Suffolk Cricket coaches meeting was held at the pavilion on Wednesday night.

Dave Little, a member of Ipswich and East Suffolk Cricket Club’s management committee, said the meeting finished around 9pm, but there appeared to be nothing untoward happening at that time.

Tracy Haskins, education lead at Sue Ryder – The Chantry, said the first the home was aware of the man’s death was when police contacted staff to inform them that a body had been found in the park.

She added: “Sue Ryder can confirm that this is not related to Sue Ryder services in any way and the care home and its day care services are operating as normal. Sue Ryder will assist the police as needed in their investigation of this incident.”

- Pay tribute to Mr Thompson. Call the newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@archant.co.uk

- Anyone with any information in relation to this incident is asked to contact the major investigation team at Suffolk Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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