Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

MANHUNT AS LOVING MUM FOUND DEAD IN HER HOME ; EXCLUSIVE: FUGITIVE WANTED OVER KILLINGWAS ACCUSED OF RAPE AND REPORTED FOR 'DOMESTIC INCIDENTS' Ex-Boyfriend on the Run after Brutal Murder Police Had Wanted to Quiz Him over Rape Claim

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

MANHUNT AS LOVING MUM FOUND DEAD IN HER HOME ; EXCLUSIVE: FUGITIVE WANTED OVER KILLINGWAS ACCUSED OF RAPE AND REPORTED FOR 'DOMESTIC INCIDENTS' Ex-Boyfriend on the Run after Brutal Murder Police Had Wanted to Quiz Him over Rape Claim

Article excerpt

AHUGE manhunt has been launched for the exboyfriend of a doting mother-of-two found battered to death in the home she shared with her daughters.

Linzi Ashton, 25, was found with 'significant' head and face injuries at her home on Westbourne Road, Winton, Eccles - after alleging that Michael Cope, 28, had previously raped her.

Police have now circulated details of Cope as wanted in connection with her brutal murder and launched a huge manhunt warning the public not to approach him.

Cope is believed to be from the Brookhouse estate area of Salford.

Detectives had contacted Linzi after the rape allegations were made by a third party. She was interviewed on video. It is then understood several attempts were made to arrest Cope. She had been in a relationship with him for a few months but had split up acrimoniously.

Police have also confirmed Linzi - whose daughters Destiny, seven, and Daisy, two, are being cared for by relatives - had made previous reports alleging domestic abuse by Cope.

The force has voluntarily referred its previous involvement and contact with the couple to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Cope is also known to the police over domestic incidents in relation to other women.

Detectives are now trying to piece together barmaid Linzi's final movements. She was last seen by a friend in the Eccles area of Salford at 2am on Friday.

It is understood that her body was discovered by her expartner Liam Grime, who is Daisy's father and had been bringing her back to Linzi's after she stayed the night with him. Destiny was staying elsewhere at the time.

The alarm was raised at 6pm on Saturday and police and paramedics rushed to the mid-terrace property.

Linzi was dead at the scene. Police want to speak to anyone who saw or spoke to her on the day she was found dead.

The results of a post-mortem examination to establish a cause of death were expected to be released later today. …

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