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#Colchester: Appeal to trace family of 78year old murder victim

21 Oct #Colchester: Appeal to trace family of 78year old murder victim

Detectives investigating the murder of a 78-year-old man who died as a result of a house fire in Colchester have today made a renewed appeal to trace his family.

A woman has been charged with murder and arson with intent to endanger life following the death of Fred Payne at his house in Rochdale Way in the early hours of Sunday, September 4.

Lisa Connelly, 42, of Rochdale Way, appeared in court and has been remanded in custody until her next appearance in court on Monday, November 14.

Officers are still trying to trace Mr Payne’s family and are appealing for any of his relations to come forward.

It is believed that My Payne was born in The Ferry Boat Inn in Shaldon near Torquay. He was said to have been back there around seven to eight years ago to have a pint where he was born.

Mr Payne had often spoken of his time in the Merchant Navy, which he joined whilst he still lived in the Torquay area.

He left the Merchant Navy at the rank of Chief Bosun and then worked for the Blue Funnel Line. He spent many years at sea working on clay boats travelling to China, Italy and Europe. He also sailed on timber boats and travelled all over the world.

DCI Stephen Jennings, who is leading the investigation, said: “We believe Mr Payne joined the Army in Dorset and Devon which may have been what brought him to Colchester being that it is a garrison town.

“He used to be a regular at the Marlborough Head in Dedham and was said to like going further afield than his local area to visit pubs as he was previously very active. We think he may have had a sister who passed away eight or nine years ago and may also have family links to London, Cornwall, Devon and Dorset.

“We have made exhaustive attempts to try and find Mr Payne’s next of kin but we have been unable to trace any of his relatives so far.

“I really would like to speak to anyone who has any information about his background so we can find his family.

photo of girls in picture frame

“We are releasing two photos with this appeal. One of Mr Payne that was taken several years ago as well as one of two girls that was hanging on the wall of his home. He may have been related to the girls. We don’t know when the photograph was taken but I would urge anybody who recognises the photo to get in touch with a member of my team.”

DCI Jennings also believes that Mr Payne may have been married, possibly up to five times. Records suggest his first wife was called Joy Hodgins who is believed to have had children called Carl and Steph. Two of his partners may have been called Carol. He is not known to have any children.

A 45-year-old man from Colchester, also arrested on suspicion of murder, has been released from his bail without charge in relation to this incident.

Anybody that can help officers trace Mr Payne’s relations is asked to contact the Brentwood Major Investigation Team on Essex Police 101.