Wigan Today : Police search for spy-murder clues

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Police search for spy-murder clues

September 4, 2010

Detectives investigating the murder of a British spy said they are picking over his private life for clues that could identify his killer.

The decomposing body of codes expert Gareth Williams, 30, was found in a bag in the bath of his London government flat.

He was days from completing a one-year secondment to the headquarters of MI6 from his job at national "listening post" GCHQ in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Further tests are being carried out to determine how the fitness fanatic died because a post-mortem examination was inconclusive. They could determine if Mr Williams was strangled or asphyxiated, as well as if drugs or alcohol were present in his system.

Police believe Mr Williams's body could have lain undiscovered for up to a fortnight and it is thought he was on holiday at the time of his death. They believe the key to the case could lie in his private life. His family said he was an extremely private person.

Investigators suspect Mr Williams, who was originally from Holyhead, North Wales, might have known his killer as there was no sign of forced entry at his top-floor flat in Alderney Street, Pimlico.

William Hughes, the cousin of Mr Williams's wife, said the family is deeply shocked.

He said: "The last time I saw Gareth was just a few months ago at a family party and he was fine. He was always a quiet person, he was from a young age, but this is a close family and we all see each other quite regularly at family occasions."

Mr Hughes added: "I knew he worked at GCHQ and he had been working in London but I didn't know what he did. It wasn't said that we shouldn't talk about it, I simply never asked and he never told me. He was a bright boy from a young age and his parents were very proud of him."

Investigators said the death is "suspicious and unexplained".

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