Guns believed to have been stolen from victim's house after Aldham murder

Donald Ralph was found dead at his home on Monday 

Donald Ralph was found dead at his home in Aldham at the end of last year - Credit: Essex Police

Two guns owned by an 83-year-old man allegedly murdered at his Aldham home are believed to have been stolen from his house at the time of his death.

Detectives believed the two guns – a Browning shotgun and a self-loading Ruger rifle – were stolen from Donald Ralph's house in Halstead Road and may have been sold on in Colchester or Hastings.

The Browning shotgun missing from the home of Donald Ralph

The Browning shotgun missing from the home of Donald Ralph - Credit: Essex Police

Mr Ralph, was a registered firearms keeper. He was found dead at his home shortly after 1pm Tuesday, December 29.

It is believed he died in the late afternoon of December 28. A post-mortem examination found he died of strangulation.

The two guns are described as a self-loading Ruger Rifle 22 RF with the serial number 354-66591 and a Browning shotgun 12 bore, serial number 419 13 MW. A Leupold scope was on the missing Ruger rifle, although police do not have a picture of the rifle available.

The two guns are believed to have gone missing from his home around the time of his murder

The two guns are believed to have gone missing from his home around the time of his murder - Credit: Essex Police

Detective chief inspector Scott Egerton, of Essex Police, said those who have any information regarding the location of the guns or have been offered them for sale, to contact the force.

DCI Egerton said: “Don was a registered firearms keeper and we have established two guns are missing from his home.

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“From the information we have, we believe they were stolen and may have been sold on, possibly in Colchester or Hastings.

“I am asking anyone who has seen the guns, or been offered them for sale, to please contact us.”

Two people have been charged with Mr Ralph's murder, while three others arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender have been released on bail while enquiries continue.

Leighton Snook, 28, of no fixed address, and a 16-year-old boy from Leicester, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have both been charged with murdering Donald Ralph on December 29.

Information can be supplied to Essex Police via 101.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111 or via their website: www.crimestoppers-uk.org.


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