A nationwide hunt for a suspected murderer was called off yesterday after a man was found hanged in a derelict building.
Greater Manchester police found the body, believed to be George Appleton, 40, in Blackfriars, Salford, just yards from where his red Ford Escort estate was abandoned this week. Appleton was wanted by police on suspicion of killing his former girlfriend, Clare Wood, 36, whose burned body was found at her home in the area.
A police spokesman said: "A search team has found a man's body hanging in a derelict building. Just before 1pm, officers looking for the whereabouts of George Appleton found the body off Boond Street in Blackfriars. Appleton met Ms Wood, a mother of one, on a dating website.
He was unemployed and lived nearby, at Adelphi Court in Salford. Officers discovered Appleton, whose online aliases included Lilgeorgyporgy and Redfred, was a regular user of the social networking websites Facebook and MySpace and the dating sites Plentyoffish and Informedconsent, and warned users of the sites that he posed a serious threat.
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On his Facebookhe listed his activities as "wouldent ya like to know" and his interests as "music, computors, djing, films". Appleton was dubbed the "Facebook fugitive" after dozens of women contacted police to say he had behaved in a suspicious way when they met him online or subsequently in person.
The suspected killer was from the Traveller community and had worked on fairground sites. He had connections in Leicestershire, Gloucestershire and Warrington. Alerts were issued for all major ports and transport networks, a psychologist was drafted in to provide a criminal profile and a detective, superintendent Pete Jackson, issued a direct appeal to him.
He said: "George, if you are hearing this message, please listen to me. I want to speak to you and I urgently want you to get some help. On Tuesday, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said it would investigate earlier police contact with Ms Wood after it emerged an emergency alarm was installed at her home last month amid safety concerns.
This article is more than 12 years old. Robert Booth. Topics Crime news. Reuse this content.