Murder probe launched despite a body not being found has echoes of Sheffield case

A murder probe launched in Chesterfield despite a body not being found has echoes of a South Yorkshire case.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 09:06 am
Updated Thursday, 4th July 2019, 11:18 am
Graham Snell

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Chesterfield man Graham Snell have announced that they are now treating his death as murder.

The 71-year-old’s body has not been found but detectives still suspect that he has been killed.

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Mr Snell, of Marsden Street, was last seen alive in Chesterfield town centre on Wednesday, June 19.

A 29-year-old Chesterfield man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and a 31 year-old man, also from Chesterfield, has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Although unusual, it is not the first time a murder investigation has been launched without there being a victim’s body.

In 2009, South Yorkshire detectives launched a murder inquiry following the disappearance of Sheffield GP, Dr Colin Shawcross, from Endcliffe.

The body of the 58-year-old family GP, who worked in Firth Park for 30 years, lay undiscovered for five months while detectives investigated his murder.

He was bludgeoned to death by the jealous ex-husband of a woman he had a brief affair with.

Detectives arrested and charged Dr Shawcross’ killer, Andrew Hill, of Walseker Lane, Harthill, almost immediately after the GP’s disappearance was reported.

But he refused to co-operate with the search for the body and it took five months before the remains were found.

Hill was found guilty of murder after a trial and was ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years behind bars.

The convicted killer continues to protest his innocence from behind bars.