Manx police hunt 'double killer' after death of teenagers

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The Independent Online

Detectives were last night searching for a double killer on the Isle of Man following the murders of two teenagers.

The body of Samantha Barton, 16, was discovered late on Friday at a care home for troubled young people.

A 17-year-old boy's body was found on Saturday by a passer-by in a thicket of trees a few hundred yards from the Leece Lodge home near the island's capital Douglas. The boy has yet to be identified.

Inspector Gary Roberts, of the Isle of Man Police, said Miss Barton, whose mother and sister also live on the island, "clearly met a violent death".

Home Office pathologists and a team of forensic scientists travelled to the island after a police officer found the girl's body. Another team of forensic scientists made the journey from the mainland after the boy's body was found.

Post-mortem examinations were still being carried out yesterday and police declined to describe their injuries.

Inspector Roberts said: "The boy too had been murdered. We are not releasing the cause of either deaths for strong operational reasons, but we are linking the murders."

The care home is run by Nugent Care on behalf of the Manx government. It had seven residents. The girl's body was discovered in one of the two converted farming buildings that make up the home.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Guy Pickard, who is leading the investigation, said inquiries were centred on a fairly limited number of people. He said there was no obvious risk to other islanders.

"People in the Isle of Man will be saddened and shocked by these two tragic events," he said.

"I would stress the force is confident that the great strides we have made in the investigation provide us with an excellent chance of successfully detecting these two terrible crimes."

He said the force had increased the number of patrols to reassure the public.