Family members of Chesterfield 'murder victim' say they still do not know if all his body parts have been found

Family members of a Chesterfield man who was dismembered say they still do not know if all of his body parts have been found - more than a month after police launched a murder investigation following his death.

Monday, 19th August 2019, 3:57 pm
Alleged murder victim Graham Snell.

Graham Snell, 71, of Marsden Street, was reported missing on June 30 after he was last seen in Chesterfield town centre on June 19.

Derbyshire police initially launched a missing person appeal but information came to light which turned it into a murder investigation.

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Alleged murder victim Graham Snell.

On July 11, police divers searched a pond on Newland Gardens, Newbold, for the body parts of Mr Snell after officers revealed that he was dismembered.

Now, Steven Ashton, who is the husband of Mr Snell's niece Anna-Marie Ashton, has told the Derbyshire Times that a number of members of the family do not feel police are keeping them updated on the investigation into his death.

In a lengthy statement responding to Mr Ashton's concerns, Derbyshire Constabulary insisted 'there is an open line of communication between the family members'.

Mr Ashton, 50, of Chesterfield, said: "All we know about the investigation is what's we've read in the Derbyshire Times and on the Derbyshire police website.

Police divers searching a pond in Newbold in July for the body parts of alleged murder victim Graham Snell.

"It's absolutely diabolical we're not being told more.

"We don't even know if all of Graham's body parts have been found.

"Derbyshire police should be ashamed."

A Derbyshire Constabulary spokesperson said: "As with any investigation of this type family liaison officers (FLOs) will be deployed to support the loved ones of the deceased and ensure that timely updates are passed on in relation to the investigation.

"In the case of Mr Snell one family member made themselves known to officers when the initial missing person investigation was launched.

"Subsequently officers met with Mr Ashton and explained that another member of the family would be the direct contact and that all updates would be passed through that person.

"There is an open line of communication between the family members and we understand that there have been recent conversations regarding the case.

"Officers who take the role of liaising with families also have their day-to-day roles to undertake investigating other offences and therefore, particularly where there are large families, it is not practical or possible to inform every family member individually.

"Mr Snell's family have two FLOs deployed to them to cover time off, shift patterns etc and, as stated previously, it was explained to the family who the single point of contact would be and details were exchanged between them and Mr Ashton. All family members were content with this situation at this point in the investigation.

"Officers will continue to update the designated family member who will then continue pass this information to the wider family.

"The deployment of FLOs is one that is looked at on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances of each case."

As reported by the Derbyshire Times at the end of last month, Superintendent Gareth Meadows, who is in charge of policing in the north of Derbyshire, moved to reassure residents following the death of Mr Snell - describing the case as 'rare' and 'not representative of day-to-day life in the town'.

Mr Ashton said he would like to meet with Supt Meadows to discuss the investigation into Mr Snell's death.

Mr Ashton paid tribute to Mr Snell, describing him as a 'nice' man who was 'very private and kept himself to himself'.

- Daniel Walsh, 29, of Marsden Street, Chesterfield, is to go on trial later this year accused of the the murder of Mr Snell. He denies the charge. A second man, aged 31, was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and released on police bail.