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River search for murdered man

PUBLISHED: 09:36 16 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:57 03 July 2010

A MURDER inquiry into a missing father of three took a dramatic turn yesterday as police said they believed his body was dumped in Great Yarmouth's river Yare.

A MURDER inquiry into a missing father of three took a dramatic turn yesterday as police said they believed his body was dumped in Great Yarmouth's river Yare.

The news that detectives suspect Derick Tempest was ditched into the river came as army divers and a specialist police search team failed to find any of his remains in the Yare.

Mr Tempest was last seen on Wednesday, October 28 as he was heading towards Hall's Garage in Camden Place where garage owners Jim Hall, 60, and Andrew Ventham, 49, are thought to have killed themselves five days later.

Yesterday's river search from Haven Bridge to the river mouth involved Royal Engineer divers and a police boat with sonar equipment.

It was organised after CCTV images linked the suspected murder of Mr Tempest to a white van seen leaving Hall's Garage on the evening on October 28.

The van was seen in the South Denes area of the River Yare between 7pm and 9pm - only a few hours after the last reported sighting of Mr Tempest, who lived in Nottingham Way.

Watching the failed river search was the head of the murder investigation Det Chief Insp Rick Munns who had told Mr Tempest's family the night before that the river would be searched.

DCI Munns said: “It was traumatic for the family to hear that we would be searching the river. But they understand the reasons why.

“They desperately need to find a sense of closure and need to know what happened to Derick.

“From our enquiries we have a large amount of CCTV footage linking the white van to this area in a time window of between 7pm and 9pm on October 28.”

DCI Munns also said that the search for Mr Tempest's body and the ongoing murder enquiry was not being linked to the disappearance of seven-year-old Daniel Entwistle who went missing from the same stretch of river in May 2003.

He said: “I am aware of that other enquiry and there is no specific reason to formally link that to this on-going murder enquiry.”

The murder enquiry was launched on November 19 after forensic evidence showed Mr Tempest had come to serious harm in Hall's Garage.

One line of enquiry that detectives have been investigating was that Mr Tempest was blackmailing Mr Hall and Mr Ventham, who are believed to have killed themselves by carbon monoxide poisoning on November 2. They both lived in nearby Queen's Road.

Police are still keen for anyone who saw the white van registration T625HJW on the night of October 28 to contact a dedicated investigation team on 01493 333080 or Norfolk Constabulary on 0845 4564567.

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