TWO murder suspects have turned themselves in to police after a 39-day search.
Peter Leonard, 51, of Arncliffe Avenue, Accrington, attended Burnley Police Station at around 9.30am on Wednesday after speaking with his solicitor.
That afternoon long-distance lorry driver Allan Palmer, 43, of Stockbridge Road, Padiham, presented himself at a police station in Edinburgh and was due to be brought to Burnley for questioning.
Both men have been arrested on suspicion of murdering Alan Lee Street, 26, of Lime Avenue, Oswaldtwistle, on 21 December at an address on Stockbridge Road, Padiham.
The body of Mr Street, who had been convicted of rape in 1999 at the age of 16, was found lying face down in knee-high water around 50 metres from the end of a culvert which leads to Woodnook Water, off Mount Street, Accrington, last Monday.
The man leading the investigation, Detective Superintendent Neil Hunter, said on Wednesday: “No charges have been brought yet.
“It will be Thursday evening at the earliest before we take the decision as to whether we wish to press charges.
“I don’t think the developments are a coincidence after a high-profile appeal on the BBC local news on Monday when both men’s families pleaded with them to come forward.
“We have been working very hard on this case. It has been a very intensive, demanding inquiry for five weeks. There has been no let-up.
To get hold of someone we have been actively seeking is a very significant development. It’s the breakthrough we have been seeking for a number of weeks.”
He added: “The arrests will enable me to further my inquiry into Mr Street’s death. I would like to thank the local media for their help as I believe their support may have contributed to these developments.
“I would also thank those members of the public who have contacted us with information but would further appeal for those people who know something but have not yet been in touch to do so by calling Burnley Police on 01282 425001.”
Earlier this week a note thought to be from the mother of Allan Palmer appeared in the window of the Co-op food market on Union Road, Oswaldtwistle.
Ian Palmer, 45, of Whitegate Close, and Kieran Davison, 20, of Stockbridge Close, both Padiham, have already appeared in court charged with murder. Three other men from Accrington and Oswaldtwistle have been arrested and released on suspicion of assisting offenders.