Long Melford community speak of shock and disbelief over double death tragedy

Police at the scene on an incident in Long Melford after a body was discovered. Ruse & Son butcher's

Police at the scene on an incident in Long Melford after a body was discovered. Ruse & Son butcher's. - Credit: Archant

The community of Long Melford has been left in a “state of shock” following the linked deaths of residents Oliver Ruse and his wife Debbie.

Oliver Ruse is pictured at Ruse & Son butcher's in Long Melford in 2009.

Oliver Ruse is pictured at Ruse & Son butcher's in Long Melford in 2009.

The mood was sombre in the village yesterday where flowers had been placed in tribute outside the Ruse family home, next to the well-established butcher’s shop.

There was still a strong police presence at Ruse & Son as well as the property where Debbie’s body was found in Park Terrace off Little St Mary’s.

A neighbour in her 80s, who said she knew Oliver from when he was a baby, described the butcher as “lovely” and a “wonderful dad” to his four daughters.

Another villager, who said he knew Oliver well, said: “He was a really nice guy.


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“We are all just a bit shocked. I saw him the night before outside the butcher’s. I didn’t say anything to him. He was just getting in his car.”

He added: “You don’t expect this to happen on your doorstep, really. It’s awful.”

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Another said he had seen Oliver buying a packet of cigarettes from the Martin McColl newsagent on Thursday morning. Norman Creek, a supervisor at the newsagent, which is opposite Ruse & Son, said: “I’m amazed at what’s happened. It is shocking. It’s very, very sad, especially for the young children.”

The Reverend Matthew Lawson, rector of Holy Trinity Church in Long Melford, said: “It is a very sad day as we reflect on yesterday’s [Thursday’s] tragic events and our community is, understandably, in shock.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and all of those affected – particularly the four precious children.

“I am confident that our community will do all it can to support all those affected by these tragic events.”

Peter Turner, the chairman of Long Melford Parish Council said: “I think as the story unfolds I think it’s clearly leaving the community in a state of shock and there’s a huge sense of sadness really.

“Obviously one’s thoughts are very much with all those individuals who are feeling the effects of this tragedy.”

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