An elderly man believed to have been murdered in his own home was tonight named as Patrick Morran. Known locally as Pat, the 80-year-old widower died after suffering a cardiac arrest at his home in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire on Saturday afternoon.
His body was found by concerned neighbours.
Four people including three school girls aged 12, 14, and 16, and a 20 year old man were later arrested on suspicion of murder. The 12-year-old and the 20 year-old man have since been released and are no longer under investigation. The other two girls remain under investigation and have been bailed until October 25.
On Monday flowers and tributes were left outside the pensioners’ house.
One tribute read: “RIP Pat will be missed” and “Treasured memories. Lots of love”.
The victim was named by local residents as Patrick Morran, whose wife Anne died of cancer two years ago and who lived alone in his semi-detached house on a former council estate.
His home and the neighbouring property remain surrounded in blue police tape, and a police van and two police cars remain on the scene guarding the cordon.
Local residents speaking to a local newspaper claimed a hammer had been found in bushes close to the crime scene.
A neighbour, who doesn’t wish to be named, said: “The neighbour that found Pat is very shaken.
“No-one can believe it.
“Pat was the loveliest man and was the first one to welcome us when we first moved in.
“You can ask anyone here and they’ll all say the same thing – he was the kindest person you could meet.”
Neighbours are said to have attempted to resuscitate the elderly man, without success. His death is being treated as unexplained and police are awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination.
Another neighbour said, “We’re trying to avoid all of the rumours. We saw the air ambulance land and we were heartbroken to know it was for Pat and that he died.
“Our children grew up with his and I used to go round and have cups of tea most days. He was the kindest man I’ve ever known – he would do anything for anyone.
“Some might say he was a bit too friendly but that’s just the way he was. Perhaps in the end it was his friendliness that was his downfall, but who knows.”
A police spokesman said: “We were called at about 5pm on Saturday (28 September) by the ambulance service with reports of a man in a cardiac arrest in Edinburgh Drive, Wisbech.
“The man, in his 80s, sadly passed away at the scene. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained.
“Three girls aged 12, 14 and 16 and a 20-year-old man were arrested in connection with the incident.
“Two girls aged 14 and 16 have been bailed until 25 October. The 12-year-old girl and the man have been released with no further action.”