Police seek man over double murder

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The Independent Online

Detectives were today hunting a man suspected of murdering his partner and eight-month-old baby daughter.

Hampshire police described Anthony Marsh, 21, as a "dangerous" man who "should not be approached".

He has been missing since the bodies of Stephanie Bellinger, 24, and their daughter Lily were discovered by a relative in Totton, near Southampton yesterday morning.

Describing Marsh as a "murder suspect", a police spokesman said detectives wanted to speak to him as a "matter of urgency".

"Mr Marsh has had no contact with family or friends since the bodies were discovered by a relative just before 9am," he said.

He has gone missing before, visiting towns including Brighton and Plymouth, but his whereabouts remain unknown.

Known to travel by rail, the suspect either sleeps rough or in churches, according to police.

The spokesman added: "Police say Mr Marsh is dangerous and should not be approached.

"If anyone has seen him or someone matching his description they should not approach him but phone the police immediately by dialling 999."

He is described as white, 6ft 2ins, with short fair hair, brown eyes, of slim build and has a tattoo on his left forearm.

Hampshire police said a post mortem examination will be carried out on the dead woman today and the baby tomorrow.

Det Supt Jason Hogg, who is leading the murder inquiry, appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

"I would also urge Mr Marsh to seriously consider handing himself in to the nearest police station," he added.

Hampshire police said a relative discovered the mother and child dead at the property in Myrtle Avenue at 9.05am.

Neighbours said they heard shouting coming from the redbrick semi-detached house last night but presumed it was rowdy teenagers who often congregate in a nearby park on Friday nights.

Mother-of-one Leanne Rowe, 25, said: "There was some noise about 8.30pm, a lot of shouting and then we could hear a car driving up.

"After that it was all quiet. It wasn't until this morning when we came down and saw the ambulance that we knew anything had happened.

"Lots of teenagers come through the park here so you do hear noise at weekends."

One and a half years years ago, Marsh sparked a police hunt after vanishing from the family home, according to the Southern Daily Echo.

The former British Gas customs relations adviser was reunited with his family after he was spotted in Weymouth, the newspaper said.