Murdered men may have been undiscovered for a week

Two men stabbed and bludgeoned to death in a flat may have lain undiscovered for a week, police said today.

Italian Luciano Schiano, 49, and his lodger Donald McPherson, 60, were discovered with stab wounds in West Norwood, south London.

Mr Schiano regularly sold the Big Issue in Streatham high street and was known to his neighbours as a friendly man.

Mr McPherson worked as a chef at the historic Reform Club in London's Pall Mall.

Detectives said he was last seen leaving work at 5pm on Tuesday last week. The two men were found a week later when Mr McPherson's daughter visited the flat.

Police continued to question a 29-year-old man over the double murder today after applying to a magistrate to extend his time in custody.

A post-mortem examination at Greenwich mortuary found Mr McPherson died of head and neck injuries. Mr Schiano suffered stab wounds.

A double murder inquiry was launched after the bodies were found at the ground-floor flat at Summersell House shortly after 10pm on Tuesday.

Investigators initially thought one of the victims might have attacked the other before committing suicide and labelled the deaths "suspicious".

But forensic analysis of the scene led murder squad detectives to launch a full inquiry as they hunted for the killer.

A Reform Club spokesman said: "We are deeply saddened by the news. Our sympathies go out to our member of staff's family and friends.

"We wish the police every success in their investigations and urge anyone with any information to come forward."

The Reform Club was originally founded for Whigs and Radicals in 1836 but now opens its doors to men and women of any political persuasion.

Anyone with information should call the incident room at Lewisham police station on 020 8721 4805 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

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