Man detained over headless body

DETECTIVES investigating the discovery of a headless body in the boot of a car in Suffolk last night detained a man under the Mental Health Act.Garnet Hooper was arrested outside the Red Lodge Transport Café, near Newmarket, on Wednesday afternoon following the launch of a major police hunt for his green Austin Montego.

DETECTIVES investigating the discovery of a headless body in the boot of a car in Suffolk last night detained a man under the Mental Health Act.

Garnet Hooper was arrested outside the Red Lodge Transport Café, near Newmarket, on Wednesday afternoon following the launch of a major police hunt for his green Austin Montego.

A decapitated body was found in the boot of the vehicle, and is believed to be that of his close friend Graham Rayner, 64.

Mr Hooper, 53, from Attlebridge, near Norwich, was detained but last night officers said he was deemed unfit for interview. He will be held under the Mental Health Act at a secure location, receiving medical supervision until it is thought appropriate for him to be interviewed by officers investigating the case.


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Meanwhile, a café worker has spoken of her shock after witnessing police stop the vehicle in Suffolk on Wednesday.

Speaking at the scene of the arrest yesterday, Leana Simpson, from Mildenhall, told of how she watched the drama unfold as she neared the end of her shift at the quiet roadside truckers' café, at around 3.30pm.

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“I saw the police follow a car down the road from the direction of Barton Mills, and pull the driver over into the car park outside the café,” she said.

“I didn't know what was going on at first. A man got out of the car, and I thought he might have been stopped for drink driving.

“But then the police handcuffed him and stood with him behind the car.”

The hunt for Mr Hooper, whose parents are from Suffolk, had been launched at around 2pm on Wednesday after a resident in Attlebridge called 999 claiming to have seen a corpse lying in a garage.

Although officers were unable to locate a body, neighbours said the man living at the house - Mr Hooper - had left the property, and a cross-county search began in a bid to find the distinctive vehicle.

Miss Simpson said that after handcuffing Mr Hooper, police cordoned off the small car park, along the B1085 Turnpike Road in the heart of Red Lodge, near Newmarket, before erecting a tent over the Austin Montego.

“You couldn't get in or out of the car park, and some people were just stuck in their cars,” she said.

“The police looked in the car, but I didn't see them open the boot. The forensic team arrived, and they were still there when I finished work at 4.30pm.

“It was not until much later on that I discovered a body had been found in the car, and I was just completely shocked because it's just not the sort of thing you expect to happen.”

Mr Rayner, a divorcee of Taverham, in Norfolk, is thought to have lived in the area for the past 30 years. He lived alone but had a grown-up son and daughter.

A family spokesman said last night: "Graham was a sweet and loving man who would always help anyone and do anything for them.''

He added: "He had a good sense of humour, loved a laugh and deeply valued all his friends that he has known through his life.''

The spokesman said Mr Rayner was a vintage motorbike and tractor enthusiast who liked snooker.

Norfolk police confirmed the body discovered in the car had been decapitated, although it is not known whether a head was discovered along with the corpse.

Mr Hooper was initially taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Station for questioning, but later transferred to Bethel Street Police Station, in Norwich.

A police spokesperson said: “A post mortem has commenced and is likely to take several hours.

“Crime Scene Investigators continue to carry out detailed examinations of the vehicle and the location at Attlebridge. Enquiries are taking place with neighbours and friends of both the suspect and the deceased.”

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