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Police probe mystery deaths of two men after their bodies were found inside £270,000 home 

Police probe mystery deaths of two men after their bodies were found inside £270,000 home 

A triple murder investigation has been launched after three pensioners in their 80s, including twin brothers, were found dead at two homes a mile apart within 24 hours of each other. On Monday, the body of an 80-year-old man named locally as Anthony Payne, was discovered at a property on Bonhay Road, Exeter, and a murder

A triple murder investigation has been launched after three pensioners in their 80s, including twin brothers, were found dead at two homes a mile apart within 24 hours of each other.

On Monday, the body of an 80-year-old man named locally as Anthony Payne, was discovered at a property on Bonhay Road, Exeter, and a murder investigation was launched.

A note was left on the front door of the property which was signed ‘AJ Payne’ and read: ‘Elderly man 80 years of age wants accommodation for himself and his pet cat.’ 

On Tuesday the bodies of two men – 84-year-old twins named locally as Dick and Roger Carter – were discovered at an address in nearby Cowick Lane. 

A 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of three murders and remains in custody.

A multiple murder investigation had been launched after three men in their 80s, including twin brothers, were found dead a mile apart in less than 24 hours. The scene at Cowick Lane in Exeter today, where 84-year-old twin brothers were found yesterday

A multiple murder investigation had been launched after three men in their 80s, including twin brothers, were found dead a mile apart in less than 24 hours. The scene at Cowick Lane in Exeter today, where 84-year-old twin brothers were found yesterday

A multiple murder investigation had been launched after three men in their 80s, including twin brothers, were found dead a mile apart in less than 24 hours. The scene at Cowick Lane in Exeter today, where 84-year-old twin brothers were found yesterday

On Monday, the body of an 80-year-old man was discovered at a property on Bonhay Road, Exeter (pictured) and a murder investigation was launched

On Monday, the body of an 80-year-old man was discovered at a property on Bonhay Road, Exeter (pictured) and a murder investigation was launched

On Monday, the body of an 80-year-old man was discovered at a property on Bonhay Road, Exeter (pictured) and a murder investigation was launched

Police are looking into the deaths of the three pensioners in Exeter in the space of 24 hours

This note was found on the front door of the property where an 80-year-old man was found dead

This note was found on the front door of the property where an 80-year-old man was found dead

This note was found on the front door of the property where an 80-year-old man was found dead

Police have revealed they decided to link the investigations because of the ‘level of violence used’ but have not established ‘a clear connection between the parties involved’.  

Devon and Cornwall Police described the deaths as an ‘unprecedented’ incident for the city, and are urging locals to ‘check on elderly relatives.’ 

Devon and Cornwall Police did not confirm the deaths were linked until today, and said they are holding the 27-year-old man in custody. 

Police would not disclose where the suspect was arrested but said they were not ‘actively’ looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths. 

On Monday, an 80-year-old man was found dead in a home on Bonhay Road near St David’s railway station, prompting a murder investigation. 

On Tuesday, two men were found inside a large house in Cowick Lane in Exeter. 

Members of Fire and Rescue erect a gazebo outside an address in Bonhay Road, Exeter, where the body of a man aged 80 was Monday afternoon

Members of Fire and Rescue erect a gazebo outside an address in Bonhay Road, Exeter, where the body of a man aged 80 was Monday afternoon

Members of Fire and Rescue erect a gazebo outside an address in Bonhay Road, Exeter, where the body of a man aged 80 was Monday afternoon

On Monday, the body of an 80-year-old man was discovered at a property on Bonhay Road, Exeter, Devon and a murder investigation was launched. Pictured, officers remain at the property today 

On Monday, the body of an 80-year-old man was discovered at a property on Bonhay Road, Exeter, Devon and a murder investigation was launched. Pictured, officers remain at the property today 

On Monday, the body of an 80-year-old man was discovered at a property on Bonhay Road, Exeter, Devon and a murder investigation was launched. Pictured, officers remain at the property today 

In what Devon and Cornwall Police described as an 'unprecedented' incident for the city, a 27-year-old has now been arrested on suspicion of three murders. Pictured, the address where an 80-year-old man was found

In what Devon and Cornwall Police described as an 'unprecedented' incident for the city, a 27-year-old has now been arrested on suspicion of three murders. Pictured, the address where an 80-year-old man was found

In what Devon and Cornwall Police described as an ‘unprecedented’ incident for the city, a 27-year-old has now been arrested on suspicion of three murders. Pictured, the address where an 80-year-old man was found

The pair, who were both aged 84, have been named locally as Dick and Roger. Locals have described the pair as ‘reclusive’ and said they had lived at the property for around 20 years.  

DCI Roy Linden urged people to check on their elderly neighbours and described the investigation as ‘fast moving’ and said there were ‘significant’ injuries.

He said: ‘There were significant levels of injuries with commonalities between the incidents’

When asked about the link between the deaths, DCI Linden said: ‘Several significant factors between the two addresses and in terms of the violence used.

‘We linked the investigations formally because of similarities between the two addresses and presentation of the three victims.’

He went on to describe the crime as an ‘Unprecedented event in which has shocked us all’.

He also said that there were no suggestion of other victims.

He added: ‘No active lines of enquiries to suggest other victims.’

Superintendent Matt Lawler used the press conference to urge residents of Exeter to check on their elderly neighbours.

He said: ‘Check on elderly neighbour. Real opportunity for community to come together particularly elderly people. Want to reassure them around personal and home security but if need additional support then contact police.’ 

Police have sealed off this house in Cowick Lane in Exeter where the bodies of the two brothers were found 

Police have sealed off this house in Cowick Lane in Exeter where the bodies of the two brothers were found 

Police have sealed off this house in Cowick Lane in Exeter where the bodies of the two brothers were found 

It has been confirmed that the mystery message on the Bonhay Road door ‘has been there for a month’.

One long-standing neighbour of the 80-year-old said he had moved into his Bonhay Road terraced home around 20 years ago.

‘He arrived there as a lodger,’ said one. ‘He lived with his landlady and when she died some years ago he stayed on as a kind of sitting tenant.

‘I knew him as Tony but it’s years and years since I’ve seen him out and about. I just assumed he had become housebound.

‘It’s so hard to believe someone would want to hurt him. He was just a quiet old man – I can’t imagine he had any valuables or anything worth stealing.’

On Wednesday afternoon police forensic officers in white overalls erected a white tent around the front entrance to the property, which stands on a main road alongside the River Exe close to Exeter St David’s Station.

Forensic officers outside the address in Bonhay Road, Exeter

Forensic officers outside the address in Bonhay Road, Exeter

Forensic officers outside the address in Bonhay Road, Exeter

On Wednesday afternoon police forensic officers in white overalls erected a white tent around the front entrance to the property, which stands on a main road alongside the River Exe close to Exeter St David’s Station

On Wednesday afternoon police forensic officers in white overalls erected a white tent around the front entrance to the property, which stands on a main road alongside the River Exe close to Exeter St David’s Station

On Wednesday afternoon police forensic officers in white overalls erected a white tent around the front entrance to the property, which stands on a main road alongside the River Exe close to Exeter St David’s Station

Police would not disclose where the suspect was arrested but said they were not 'actively' looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths

Police would not disclose where the suspect was arrested but said they were not 'actively' looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths

Police would not disclose where the suspect was arrested but said they were not ‘actively’ looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths

One tribute left at the scene in Cowick Road reads: ‘To Dick and Roger. Will miss your conversations and drives to Sainsbury’s. RIP, Doris and Fred.’ 

Many neighbouring houses have been converted into bedsits or student accommodation according to neighbours. A two-storey student accommodation block stands on the opposite side of the road.

Fredrica Rockey, who lives nearby, said: ‘People in the city are horrified by what’s happened.

‘It’s so awful that three old people’s lives have ended in this way. And very hard to imagine why someone would target them.

‘Cowick Lane is not really a community as such. There are people moving in and out of the houses and flats all the time – many of them are students on short-term lets.

‘If the man police have arrested does live around here it’s quite possible nobody will notice immediately that he’s not around.’ 

Jim Wright, owner of Broadway Stores, added: ‘One of the brothers used to come in here every day and buy the paper and often jump onto a bus into town.

‘The other had arthritis but would walk 40 minutes to Sainsbury’s I’m a regular basis. 

‘They pretty much kept themselves to themselves. One was a bit more able than the other.’ 

One tribute left at the scene reads: 'To Dick and Roger. Will miss your conversations and drives to Sainsbury's. RIP, Doris and Fred.'

One tribute left at the scene reads: 'To Dick and Roger. Will miss your conversations and drives to Sainsbury's. RIP, Doris and Fred.'

One tribute left at the scene reads: ‘To Dick and Roger. Will miss your conversations and drives to Sainsbury’s. RIP, Doris and Fred.’

Two men, both aged 84, were found inside a property on Tuesday. Pictured, police at the scene today

Two men, both aged 84, were found inside a property on Tuesday. Pictured, police at the scene today

Two men, both aged 84, were found inside a property on Tuesday. Pictured, police at the scene today

One local resident said her father knew the twins.

She said: ‘The two men were twins, they had lived in the house since childhood, been very reclusive for years….been hounded for years from developers for their house which they turned down constantly. 

‘Very nice people, but kept to themselves.’ 

Graham May, 49, said he lived down the road from the crime scene, and his mother lives next door to the twin victims.

He said: ‘From living here for the time we have, just knowing them and seeing them walking down to the shop – that’s all you really see of them.

‘It’s quite strange, they were local and kept themselves to themselves.

‘I’ve been here most of my life and know they’ve been in the area for the last 20 years.

‘I’m quite shocked really, especially with mum being on her own.

‘We were shocked to hear on the news that two guys are leading a normal life, doing what they do, and the next thing it’s on the news.’ 

Members of Fire and Rescue outside the crime scene in Bonhay Road

Members of Fire and Rescue outside the crime scene in Bonhay Road

Members of Fire and Rescue outside the crime scene in Bonhay Road

Police were called at around 3pm on Monday 11 February to an address in Bonhay Road following the discovery of the body of a man

Forensic teams remain at the scene of both deaths in the St Thomas area of Exeter. Pictured, officers in Cowick Lane

Forensic teams remain at the scene of both deaths in the St Thomas area of Exeter. Pictured, officers in Cowick Lane

Forensic teams remain at the scene of both deaths in the St Thomas area of Exeter. Pictured, officers in Cowick Lane

Speaking with Devon Live, one neighbour said they had known of the ‘identical’ twins for 50 years.

‘We knew each other to say hello and we think they were born there. They had a Boxer dog called Odin, after the God.

‘We found out after being visited by police. We are shattered and shocked.

‘They kept themselves to themselves and were quiet. We never saw them together at the same time. One of them used to walk to Sainsbury’s every day despite having a crippled foot.’ 

Police urged anyone in the area of Bonhay road and Cowick Lane between 8am on Sunday 10 February and 1pm on Tuesday 12 February to get in touch. 

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