Three arrests over Italian couple’s murder

POLICE have arrested three men on suspicion of murder following the deaths of an Italian couple killed in their home at the weekend.

Guiseppe and Caterina Massaro were found slumped in the bedroom of their ransacked home on Friday night by their 22-year-old granddaughter Lindsey Booth.

According to a horrified Lindsay there were no signs of blood or that the couple had put up any resistance. Mrs Massaro’s body had been covered by a duvet.

Two men from Wolverhampton, aged 32 and 21, and a 30 year-old from Birmingham, were arrested overnight on suspicion of murder and are being questioned at separate police stations in the West Midlands.

The forensic post mortem will continue at 2pm today/yesterday (Monday 25 April).

Yesterday the family paid tribute to the elderly Italian couple from Wolverhampton.

“Words cannot describe the devastation that has struck our family after discovering our beloved grandparents hurt by the hands of someone else,” a statement said.

“We cannot even begin to grasp the evil that took place in their home and how frightened they would have been.

“An entire generation was taken away from us that day and we cannot comprehend how something could go this far. We only hope this devastation can save the lives of many other people by being aware that tragedy can strike at anytime so all we can do is be more vigilant towards our neighbours and the entire community.

“Their lives will be sadly missed and this has severely affected our family and a lot of our friends.”

Distraught Lindsey Booth described on Sunday the moment she found her grand-parents bodies.

She said: “I went round with my mom because my auntie had visited earlier in the day and was getting worried that they had not been in touch,” she said.

“When we got inside it was clear that they had been burgled. The house had been turned upside down and I feared the worst when they didn’t respond.

“When I got upstairs I opened their bedroom door and saw my grandad lying still on top of the mattress”

I screamed to my mom to stay downstairs and walked over to touch the body but it was cold and clearly dead.

“That’s when I noticed my gran lying next to him. Her body had been covered by the duvet.

“They were both still in their day clothes and I didn’t see any blood or signs that there had been a struggle.

“The bedroom had been completely ransacked and everything moved around, including the bed.

“A television set is missing and their car had been stolen.”

Shocked neighbours described the couple as loving and friendly and happy to talk to anyone they met.

Susan Roberts, 61, has lived in the street for 26 years. “I knew them, we knew him as Joe,” she said.

“They were absolutely lovely, it’s so sad to hear what has happened.

“But they were lovely, he used to drink with my husband,” she added. “Joe was so sad when he died, he came round to give me his commiserations, they were gorgeous people.”

Supt Mark Payne, from Wolverhampton Local Policing Unit:

“We have had a really positive response so far from the people of Wolverhampton.

“We want to hear from anybody who might have been offered a television or the car in Wolverhampton on Friday.

“I am still appealing to anyone who may have seen this car or seen people coming or going from this address at Woden Road on Thursday or Friday.

“Tragedies like this are extremely rare but have enormous impact.

“Local people hold the key to finding who his responsible for this terrible tragedy. If you believe that you have any piece of information that may help our enquiries, I would ask you to call us as soon as possible.”

Officers from West Midlands Police launched the murder investigation after the couple were found dead in Wolverhampton on Good Friday, Friday 22 April, just after 8pm.

The couple lived at Woden Road in Park Village, Wolverhampton for a number of years and were originally from Italy, being here since 1960.

Guiseppe was 80 years old and Caterina 77 years old. They had two children and a number of grandchildren.

The investigation involves detectives from the forces major investigation unit, forensic specialists and local neighbourhood officers with significant house to house, CCTV and forensic enquiries.

Family Liaison Officers are in place and supporting the family.

Police are still appealing for information around a car which was missing from the address, a black Peugeot 307 registration PK56 VRW.

This has since been recovered in Wednesfield, West Midlands, but detectives are keen to find out where this car was on Thursday or Friday.

Anyone with information that could assist the enquiry is asked to contact police.

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