Detectives in England who were searching for triple murder suspect Jed Allen will shift their attention to the circumstances of the killings after the 21-year-old was found dead following the death of his six-year-old sister, their mother and her partner.
Members of the public found the body of comic-book fan Jed Allen, 21, in a wooded area of Oxford yesterday.
It brought to an end the 30-hour manhunt, which began following the discovery of his sister Derin, Janet Jordon, 48, and Philip Howard, 44, in Didcot on Saturday evening. They had been stabbed to death.
Detective Superintendent Chris Ward, head of Thames Valley Police’s major crime unit, yesterday said the body found in Marston Road, Oxford, had not been formally identified but officers were satisfied it was prime suspect Allen.
According to The Sun newspaper, Allen sent a text message to a handful of friends saying “I’ve done something bad” in the hours after the triple killings.
A friend told the tabloid: “Jed texted seven of us. It was a long message but it told us that he had done something bad and asked us to call the police.
“It was a deeply personal message.”
Detectives had earlier released images of Allen which seemed to show him buying a large bottle of water in a shop hours before the three victims were found stabbed to death at their home.
The heavily built 21-year-old was caught on CCTV in WHSmith at Oxford railway station, 10 miles from the Didcot crime scene where detectives had found what they believe is the murder weapon.
More than 100 police, including specialist search officers, had been deployed to search Oxford University Parks where Allen worked as a groundsman.
Detectives believed that Allen had arrived in Oxford by train from Didcot at 5.45pm on Saturday.
Allen, a fan of the blade-wielding X-Men comic-book anti-hero Wolverine, had a distinctive spider tattoo on his left hand.
Derin’s young friends struggled to come to terms with her killing.
Parents with their young children flocked to All Saints primary school in Didcot, where she was a Year One pupil, to leave flowers and teddy bears.
John Myers, thead teacher of All Saints, said the reaction had been “devastation, shock, sadness”.
He said: “It’s just a combination of so many emotions, it’s such a terrible tragedy.
“Anybody’s life is precious and to lose parents and particularly a young girl in such a dreadful manner is truly awful.”
Mr Myers described Derin as “beautiful, gentle, quiet, smiley, happy, precious, a lovely girl”.
He said they had seemed like “a perfectly normal, happy family”.