Police investigating the murder of a taxi driver found shot dead confirmed today that they are investigating rumours that his death could be connected to an argument between cabbies.
The body of Stuart Ludlam, 43, from Darley Dale, Derbyshire, was found in the boot of his car at Cromford railway station, near Matlock, last Thursday.
In a fresh appeal a week after his death, police said they are exploring several lines of inquiry, including whether it was connected to a disagreement between taxi drivers in the area.
Derbyshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Peter Goodman said: "One week has passed since Stuart was tragically killed.
"The county of Derbyshire, and in particular the Derbyshire Dales, is a safe place to live and shootings are far from commonplace and I know that the community is shocked and saddened by Stuart's death.
"Some people in the community have speculated that Mr Ludlam's death may in some way be connected to a disagreement between taxi drivers in the area.
"I can confirm that this is just one of several lines of inquiry we are following.
"The investigating team is keeping an open mind as to the motive behind this terrible crime.
"People who live in the area may hold information vital to the investigation.
"You may have seen or heard something which could be of great interest to our officers, so please come forward no matter how insignificant you think the information is."
Mr Ludlam, who was married with three children aged two, 12 and 15, worked for Middleton-by-Wirksworth based MJ Taxis.
He was last seen by his colleagues at his company's office an hour before he was found at 12.40pm last Thursday.
Officers said he had been shot before being put into the boot of his silver Ford Focus estate taxi.
Police said Mr Ludlam died as a result of being shot with a firearm and today confirmed the gun has not yet been recovered.
A 32-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder was released yesterday without charge.
Today police renewed appeals for information to help piece together the father-of-three's last movements.
Officers spent the day patrolling the town and surrounding areas, stopping motorists and pedestrians, showing people pictures of Mr Ludlam and his car, handing out flyers and putting up posters.
Mr Goodman added: "Police officers have been in Cromford all day talking to people, gathering information and reassuring residents that anything they tell us will be treated in confidence.
Earlier this week Mr Ludlam's widow Paula Ludlam, 42, spoke of her grief at the loss of her husband.
She said: "All I want to know now is who set it all up and did it. I want the person who did it to get life."
She described her husband as a friendly, chatty and popular man who had worked as a taxi driver for about 16 years.Reuse content