Murdered student 'may have known killer'

A UNIVERSITY student from Suffolk who was murdered in his own home may have known his attacker, the detective leading the investigation revealed last night.

Craig Robinson

A UNIVERSITY student from Suffolk who was murdered in his own home may have known his attacker, the detective leading the investigation revealed last night.

The body of Matthew Pyke , from Stowmarket, was discovered by ambulance crews in a flat above a Nottingham city centre bar on Friday evening.

The details surrounding his death only emerged yesterday and a post-mortem examination revealed the 20-year-old died as a result of stab wounds.

Forensic investigators will continue to examine the flat over the course of the next few days and detectives are looking at CCTV footage from the local area.

Mr Pyke, who moved to the city two years and was living with his partner, was just about to embark on his first year at Nottingham Trent University.

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He was killed in his flat in North Sherwood Street above the Orange Tree pub and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Heydon, senior investigating officer with Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We are exploring all possible avenues to establish who is responsible for Matthew's murder. One line of inquiry is that this was not a random attack and that Matthew may have known the person who attacked him.

“The post mortem results suggest Matthew was attacked by a bladed weapon - probably a knife. So far this weapon has not been recovered and we want to hear from anyone who has seen or found a bladed weapon.

“The weapon is likely to be heavily blood stained and detectives believe whoever killed Matthew would also have been heavily blood stained when they left the property.

“Detectives still want to hear from anyone who saw anyone in stained clothing or acting suspiciously on Friday.

“We would like to hear from anyone who has any information regardless of how insignificant it may seem. We would also like to speak to anyone who knew Matthew or has any information that could assist with the investigation.”

Det Ch Insp Heydon said Mr Pyke's parents, of Chelsworth Way, Stowmarket, have been left “devastated”.

Although they were too upset to comment yesterday they left a message on an internet social networking site.

It reads: “Darling Matthew. We love you so much and miss you. You were a truly good, sensitive person. Your smile will live on in our hearts.”

A tribute on another site, from his friend Andy Clarke, reads: “R.I.P Matt. I don't know what school would've been like without you, you were one of the most individual, genuine, good people I have ever met, and a great friend. I am so sad you're gone, and I will miss you a lot. Rock on in heaven dude.”

Mr Pyke was a former pupil at Combs Middle School and also attended Stowmarket High School.

Last night Ian Crissell, headteacher at Combs Middle, said he would be dearly missed by everyone in the community.

“He was a very conscientious student and liked by all members of staff,” Mr Crissell said. “He worked hard and had a caring nature. It is no surprise that he went on to further education. He had his whole life before him and he had worked hard in order to get himself into that situation.

“You read of these horrific events on a regular basis and when it is someone you know it really brings home the dangers that are facing young people.

“I can't begin to imagine how his family are feeling and our thoughts are very much with them. We send our heartfelt condolences to them.

“It is a senseless loss of a valiant member of our community. I'm sure the whole community will be absolutely devastated.”

A spokeswoman for Nottingham Trent University confirmed Mr Pyke was due to start a degree course at the beginning of next month but was unable say in what subject.

Ben Hings, managing director of The Orange Tree Group, which runs The Orange Tree pub, said: “It's obviously shocking to hear about an incident like this happening nearby.

“The Orange Tree owns the building, but the flats above are on a 999-year lease to someone else. They have a completely separate entrance to the pub and are self-contained.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Nottinghamshire Police on 0115 8446912 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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