A SHOTGUN would have been found next to the victim of a "serial killer of the OAP", three retired people having been found dead suffering the same violent injuries to the head.
Police have launched a "quick" investigation into the deaths of retirees, all killed in Exeter during a 24-hour period earlier this week.
Tonight, sources told The Sun Online that an obsolete shotgun was found next to the body of the 80-year-old victim, locally named Anthony Payne.
It is unclear whether the weapon was used by the victim during the killings or for self-defense purposes.
The other two victims were locally named Dick and Roger Carter, 84-year-old twins, killed at home only 1.6 miles away.
The detectives refused to say whether a weapon was used, saying only that autopsies were performed yesterday.
A 27-year-old man was arrested for the three deaths, with Superintendent Matt Lawler urging residents to visit their neighbors and elderly parents.
He said, "Check the elderly, it's a real opportunity for the community to come together.
"We want to reassure [the elderly] personal and home security, but if they need additional support, contact the police. "
A heartbreaking message was left on the doorstep of the victim, aged 80, who was discovered Monday around 15 hours.
The note, which had been there for a month, said, "An 80-year-old man wants accommodation for himself and his cat, any response to Bonhay Road."
Less than 24 hours later, the bodies of the twins were found in a house a mile away in the Cowick Lane area of the city.
Neighbor Tracey Harkness was on her way to work earlier in the day when she saw a tall, white, black – haired man, with a "funny looking" toolkit at work. outside the property of the twins.
His daughter Lianne Hill said, "Mom said that he was watching her. She felt a little scared.
Flora, Robbie and Matilda, students at Exeter University, who lived next door to this 80 year old man, said today, "We have never seen it. Once, maybe.
Matilda added, "I met him when I arrived and introduced myself, I saw him once on the roads, but that's all." He was a rather quiet guy. "
An inhabitant of the road said: "This is cooling your back".
Chief Detective Inspector Roy Linden of the Major Crime Investigation Team said, "Right now there are several important common factors between the two addresses.
"Regarding the level of violence used, we decided last night to tie the investigations in. Originally, they were treated as two separate murder investigations.A suspect was identified and formally arrested last night. "
Describing the investigation as "fast moving," he added: "There were a significant number of injuries and commonalities between the two incidents, which led us to link these investigations and treat them as a only investigation for the moment ".
MYSTERY & # 39; MURDER & # 39;
Superintendent Matt Lawler commented, "I know this news will raise important and understandable concerns and is an unprecedented event in our city that has shocked us all.
"Based on our current information, we have not yet established a clear link between the parties involved.
"While a man suspected of murder has been arrested, we must keep an open mind and avoid speculation because we are still in the early stages of an investigation that is already very complex. "
At this point, it is unclear whether the three men knew each other – or the suspect.
It is believed that the Carters were identical twins who were retired grocers and lived together at the house near the Cowick Barton pub.
Police officers and detectives were seen entering and exiting the two properties today, storing evidence and talking to neighbors.
A floral tribute to the Cowick Lane scene said, "To Dick and Roger, we'll miss your conversations and your walks at Sainsbury – RIP, Doris and Fred."
Have you witnessed anything? Do you have more information? If this is the case, please contact email@example.com or phone 0207 782 4331
Matthew Cribb, who works at Thairapy, who is near the house, said, "It was an identical twin couple.
"They did a good job of protecting themselves, but they were not customers here.
"It's a surprise – an area like this, it's a pretty safe area – it's not what you expect."
Jim Wright, owner of Broadway, told Devon Live: "One of the brothers came here every day to buy the newspaper and often jumped on a bus to get to town.
One of the brothers came here every day to buy the newspaper and often jumped on a bus to go to town.
Jim Wright, owner of Broadway stores
"The other had arthritis, but was walking 40 minutes to Sainsbury's on a regular basis and they were pretty good at each other, one was a bit more capable than the other.
"It's a big community and everyone is wondering what happened."
A couple said they knew the twins for 50 years.
They said, "We knew each other to say hello and we think they were born here." They had a Boxer dog called Odin, named after God.
"We discovered after being visited by the police, we are broken and shocked.
"They stood on their own and were silent, we never saw them together at the same time.
"One of them walked every day to Sainsbury, despite his crippled foot."
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Everyone in the Bonhay Road and Cowick Lane area between Sunday, February 10 and 8 am and Tuesday, February 12 at 1 pm may have seen something relevant that should contact the police.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police at 101, citing journal 472 on 11 February.
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