Michael Cope hands himself in to police over Linzi Ashton murder


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The Independent Online

Michael Cope, the man wanted for questioning in connection with the murder of Linzi Ashton, has handed himself in to police after a month on the run from authorities.

The 28-year-old was arrested in Leigh, Greater Manchester, late on Friday night, police confirmed.

Greater Manchester Police received a call at about 11.55pm on Friday that Cope was at an address in Larch Road.

Detective superintendent Tony Creely said: “Since Linzi was killed nearly a month ago there has been an intensive manhunt to find and arrest her killer safely.

“Late last night we received intelligence which led us to an address on Larch Road in Leigh.

“Armed officers attended and a 28-year-old man handed himself into police.

“Over recent weeks we have received a very positive response from the public and we thank the people of Salford, Hindley and Leigh for their co-operation and support.”

An appeal for information was featured on BBC1's Crimewatch.

It is believed that Cope may have evaded police by sleeping rough and using canal pathways between Salford and Leigh.

Ms Ashton's body was found at her home in Westbourne Road. Police described her injuries as "sustained and vicious".

In a statement issued shortly after Miss Ashton's death, her family said: “She was the most beautiful, generous, caring person anyone could ever wish to meet. She would never harm anyone and was always there for her children and family.

“Life will never be the same again without her. Our whole family and friends have been devastated by her death. The whole community is in shock.”

Police have charged a 26-year-old man with perverting the course of justice and a 25-year-old man with assisting an offender.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the prior contact made by Miss Ashton to Greater Manchester Police.