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Murder victim 'suffocated' in violent burglary at his home
A “much-loved” father and grandfather is believed to have been suffocated during a violent burglary at his Bradford home.
Clement Desmier, 68, was found murdered after worried neighbours went to check on him, police said last night.
Officers are now hunting for two men seen in the front garden of his semi-detached home in Rowlestone Rise, Greengates , Bradford, at about 3am on Thursday morning, only hours before neighbours made the grim discovery.
It is believed the 68-year-old, known locally as ‘Butch’, was found sitting in a chair in his front room, with some neighbours last night suggesting he had a pillow over his face.
The officer leading the hunt for Mr Desmier’s killers last night could not confirm how the pensioner died, but admitted it appeared “some sort of violence” had been used on the victim, who had also apparently been burgled.
Detective Superintendent Mark Ridley, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said it was possible Mr Desmier knew his killers and they could be local.
“Neighbours became concerned that they hadn’t seen Mr Desmier throughout Thursday and went into the address and discovered his body,” he said in a press conference outside the victim’s home yesterday.
“It’s become apparent two men were seen acting suspiciously in the garden of the house about 3am on Thursday.
“I’m keen to trace those men or anybody who believes they know the identity of those two individuals to come forward or anybody who has any information in relation to the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Desmier.
“The early indications are there has been some sort of disturbance in the house and there has been some sort of violence used on the victim.
“At this time we don’t have the cause of death as we are waiting for the post-mortem examination. The early indications are he was murdered.”
Det Supt Ridley said officers were trying to piece together the last few days of Mr Desmier’s life and uncover a motive for the murder.
“We’re trying to piece together his movements over the past week. The last confirmed sighting was 9am on Wednesday morning,” he said.
“There is a suspicious incident when two men were seen acting suspiciously in his garden at 3am on Thursday. But we’re trying to build a picture of exactly when he was last seen.
“At this time we’ve not got a motive for why people went into his house. It may be these people were known to Mr Desmier, however, we remain open-minded. I’d like to appeal to members of the public who’ve seen Mr Desmier over the past few days to come forward please and tell us what you can about his movements and lifestyle.
“It is quite a tight-knit community and people know each other quite well and it is quite possible the people responsible are local and they possibly knew Mr Desmier.
“He is a local man. He’s got a number of children locally. Although he lives alone, he’s got a number of grandchildren as well and is a very much loved father and grandfather.
“I understand he’s previously been a musician and played in a number of local pubs and was quite a talented man.”
Neighbours described Mr Desmier as a polite man who used to go around the pubs and clubs in his younger days to play guitar dressed in a snappy white suit.
It is understood two neighbours had spotted Mr Desmier’s lights on throughout Thursday which was unusual, so they headed over to check on him at about 4pm.
They got in through the unlocked front door and saw that the house had been ransacked, it is understood. It is believed that they discovered Mr Desmier sitting in a chair in the front room with a pillow over his face.