Murder-suicide probe launched after cancer survivor in her 60s and husband, 72, found dead at their Suffolk home


Murder-suicide probe launched after cancer survivor in her 60s and husband, 72, found dead at their Suffolk home

A CANCER survivor and her husband who were found dead at their home died in a horrific murder-suicide, police say. The bodies of Sally Metcalf,

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A CANCER survivor and her husband who were found dead at their home died in a horrific murder-suicide, police say.

The bodies of Sally Metcalf, 68, and her spouse Jonathan, 72, were found on Saturday evening at their £500,000 home in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

East Anglia News Service

Sally Metcalf was found dead along with her husband Jonathan at their home in Suffolk[/caption]

Post mortems carried out today by a Home Office pathologist concluded that Sally died of compression of the neck while her husband died from hanging.

Suffolk Police said tonight that Sally’s death was being treated as murder and Jonathan’s passing was not being thought to be suspicious.

A police statement added: “Formal identification procedures in respect of both parties have not yet taken place.

“The investigation into the deaths continues, but detectives do not believe that there is anyone else involved with this incident.

“A police scene remains in place at the property, but there is no threat to the wider community.”

The couple both worked as National Trust volunteers at the Sutton Hoo ship burial site near Woodbridge.

Friends described them as a “lovely couple” and said that Sally had recently battled cancer.

Emergency services were alerted at around 6.15pm on Saturday after they were found dead in their 18th century home.


Cops say they believe the couple died in a murder-suicide[/caption]

East Anglia News Service

Tributes have been paid to a husband and wife who have been found dead at their home[/caption]


Police said there was ‘no wider threat to the community’[/caption]

Officers stood guard outside the couple’s home last night while detectives began asking neighbours if they had had heard anything suspicious.

Forensic officers also searched for clues inside the Grade Two listed semi-detached home called Lindon House where the couple had lived since 2008.

James Lightfoot, the chairman of the Choose Woodbridge business and tourism association, said: “They were a really nice, unassuming and seemingly contented couple.

“What has happened is awful. They loved everything that went on at Sutton Hoo and its Anglo Saxon history.”

Linda Page-Mullett who also knew them said: “They were such a lovely couple and were always together. It is so sad and I am just devastated.

“I used to see them walking around and going shopping together during lockdown. You could not find a more devoted couple.

East Anglia News Service

A couple, described as ‘lovely’ by locals, were found dead on Saturday[/caption]

East Anglia News Service

Police said the investigation into the deaths continues[/caption]

“I used to chat to Sally about her Burmese cat because I have one as well.”

The couple’s next door neighbour who asked not to be named said: “They were fantastic and looked out for us after we moved in last year.

“The first we heard anything was wrong was when the police knocked on our door. We didn’t hear any disturbance or anything before that.”

Another neighbour added: “They were a lovely couple. It is incredibly sad.”

Sally worked as a voluntary Volunteer Manager at Sutton Hoo where an 86ft long Anglo Saxon burial ship was found beside the River Deben in 1939.

Her husband was said to have been a ranger at the site.

The discovery of the ship and its gold artefacts in a burial mound featured in this year’s hit Netflix film The Dig starring Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James.

The National Trust which owns Sutton Hoo and its visitor centre described Sally on its website as the “much loved mother hen of Sutton Hoo”.

In an interview on the website, she said: “I manage the recruitment, training and development of our volunteer team and generally look after them all.

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East Anglia News Service

The shock deaths have stunned the local community with neighbours praising the couple as ‘fantastic’[/caption]

“I find people fascinating. I enjoy being around them and trying to help them in any way I can – I get a lot of joy out of it.

“Over the last ten years at Sutton Hoo, my voluntary role has grown into a full time position. 

“I see it as an all or nothing role, as many of our volunteers come to us because they are new to the area, are experiencing a life change such as retirement or would like to make connections with like-minded people. I just like to be a mother hen really!”

Jonathan Metcalf who was also said to have suffered ill health in recent years was a keen gardener and helped to found a community allotment scheme in Woodbridge around ten-years-ago.

Local people said they had unusually seen blinds drawn at the couple’s home in recent days.


The couple both worked as volunteers at the Sutton Hoo burial ship site run by the National Trust[/caption]

One local resident said: “It was quite strange seeing their blinds closed because their windows were normally open to see in. I would walk past and they would always give me a wave.

“Now I am kicking myself thinking that I should have followed my gut feeling and done something a couple of days ago because it was so unusual for their blinds to be down.”

Clare Perkins, a former mayor of Woodbridge, said: “They were just beautiful people and were always ready with a smile and kind words. It is just tragic. She worked so hard at Sutton Hoo and was always willing to help people.”

The up-market town of Woodbridge was named by the Sunday Times last month as the best place to live in the East of England.

The historic town beside the River Deben is acclaimed for its fine shops and pubs and is described by tourist chiefs as “the gem in Suffolk’s crown”.

Property website Zoopla lists the average price of homes in Cumberland Street as £703,205.

One witness said at least three ambulances were in the street on Saturday night along with five police cars and other unmarked police vehicles during the early evening.

Anyone with any knowledge of the incident should contact Suffolk police, quoting incident number: 37/17853/21

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.