Village shocked after murder investigation launched

A murder investigation has been launched after a man was found dead in Aldham

Police at the scene in Aldham, near Colchester - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A village has been rocked by the news a murder investigation has been launched following the death of elderly man. 

Detectives were called to Halstead Road, Aldham, near Colchester, at about 1pm on Monday following reports a man had been found unresponsive inside a property. 

The victim, Donald Ralph, 83, from Aldham, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the area from 3pm on Monday and may have witnessed anything suspicious.

Officers would also like to hear from anyone who has doorbell footage, dashcam footage or CCTV from the local area. 

A house remains cordoned off by police ion Halstead Road in Aldham

A house remains cordoned off by police on Halstead Road in Aldham - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Two Colchester borough councillors expressed their shock and sadness following the news. 

Brian Jarvis, councillor for Lexden and Braiswick ward, which covers Aldham, said: "I was totally shocked.

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"It was quite devastating news for a place like Aldham, it's a lovely peaceful village and it's just devastating news to come out. 

"It's the sort of thing you read about in towns but you don't think about these things happening in small, well-established villages with a community spirit and everything else there. 

"My immediate reaction was one of total shock, and thinking: 'How could it have happened?' 

"You hear about in various places all over the country but when it comes onto your own doorstep as it were, it comes as more of a shock I think."

A house remains cordoned off by police ion Halstead Road in Aldham following an incident.

A house remains cordoned off by police on Halstead Road in Aldham - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Lewis Barber, also councillor for Lexden and Braiswick ward, said: "It was a bit of a shock because it's a small village where, as far as I'm aware, they haven't had anything like this happen for a long, long time, if ever. 

"It's very sad. To happen right at the heart of your community, you hear of these things happening on the news but to hear it's in your neck of the woods is quite shocking really. 

"It's quite a busy road so it's just about trying to appeal to people if they saw anything to come forward."

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Essex Police's major crime team on 101, quoting incident 512 of December 29 or by emailing scd.appeals.essex@essex.pnn.police.uk.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111.