Officers searching for two men in connection with Essex container deaths

Ronan Hughes (right), 40 and his brother Christopher Hughes, 34, both from Armagh in Northern Irelan

Ronan Hughes (right), 40 and his brother Christopher Hughes, 34, both from Armagh in Northern Ireland, who Essex Police wish to speak to on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking after the deaths of 39 people whose bodies were found in a container in Grays, Essex Picture: Essex Police/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Police investigating the deaths of 39 people found dead in a lorry in Essex have named two suspects they want to speak to on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking.

Essex Police have released pictures of two men: Ronan Hughes, 40, and his brother Christopher, 34, both from Armagh in Northern Ireland.

The pair are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking.

According to the force, Ronan Hughes, who also goes by the name Rowan, and Christopher Hughes have links to Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Hooper, who is leading the investigation, said: "Finding and speaking to the Hughes brothers is crucial to our investigation.


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"At this time we believe they are in Northern Ireland but they also have links to the Irish Republic.

"If you know where they are or have any information about their whereabouts I need you to call my team.

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"This is a case where 39 men and women have tragically died and support from the community is going to be vital to help bring those responsible to justice."

The bodies of eight women and 31 men were found in a refrigerated trailer attached to a lorry in an industrial park in Grays in the early hours of Wednesday, October 23.

Mo Robinson, 25, of Craigavon, Northern Ireland, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Monday charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration, and money laundering.

Three other people arrested in connection with the incident - a 38 year-old man, a 38 year-old woman, and a 46 year-old man - have all been released on bail until November.

The discovery has sparked a huge international investigation to try and identify the victims.

Essex Police had initially believed the 39 were all Chinese nationals, but Vietnamese men and women are feared to be among the dead.

The victims were removed from the vehicle to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford for post-mortem examinations to be carried out.

It is not yet known when the victims entered the trailer, where temperatures can be as low as minus 25C if the fridge is activated, or the exact route it travelled.

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