Bonfire victim in link with drugs

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The Independent Online
A man found dead on a forest bonfire may have been murdered because of his connections with the drugs underworld, detectives said yesterday.

Gwent detectives identified the body as that of TyroneFrance, 31, and said he was known to have links with the drugs trade in Newport. His charred remains were found on a five-foot high bonfire in Wentwood forest at the weekend.

Police believe Mr France may have been killed over a drug deal or out of revenge. However, they have ruled out links with drugs-related deaths in other parts of the country. It is not yet known how he died.

Detective Superintendent Ian Johnston, heading the murder hunt, said: "We are treating this as a local matter and are looking at a number of theories. We believe there is a definite connection with the drugs scene and are urgently seeking to interview all his known associates."

Detectives said the dead man had also used the surname Holmes, and had convictions for dishonesty offences.

Mr France, who was over six-foot tall and had dark hair, was last seen alive on Friday night at a number of pubs - including the Riverside Tavern in Clarence Place - and police want anyone who saw him to contact them. A man who had been with Mr France was interviewed by police yesterday but was not in custody.