Former soldier ‘armed with crossbow’ wanted for murder of racing commentator's wife and two daughters

10 July 2024, 15:23 | Updated: 10 July 2024, 15:55

LIVE: Manhunt launched as three women murdered in Hertfordshire

The wife and two daughters of racing commentator John Hunt were killed at their Hertfordshire home
The wife and two daughters of racing commentator John Hunt were killed at their Hertfordshire home. Picture: Police/Social Media
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The suspect police are looking for in connection with the deaths of a racing commentator's wife and two daughters is an ex- soldier, LBC has learned.

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Sources in Ministry of Defence (MoD) have confirmed to LBC that Kyle Clifford served in the army for a brief period of time. He has also worked as a private security guard.

The victims of the triple crossbow killing in Hertfordshire are the wife and two daughters of horse racing commentator, John Hunt.

Mr Hunt's wife Carol, and two of his daughters Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25, were found seriously injured at the scene on Ashlyn Close in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

Police are hunting for the 26-year-old, who is believed to be an ex-boyfriend of Mr Hunt’s daughter Louise.

They died at the scene despite the efforts of paramedics.

LIVE: Manhunt launched for suspect 'armed with crossbow' as mum and two daughters murdered

Read more: Manhunt launched for suspect ‘armed with crossbow’ after three women killed in triple murder at Hertfordshire home

Racing commentator John Hunt raised the alarm after finding his wife Carol, 61, and two daugthers seriously injured at their home in Bushey
Racing commentator John Hunt raised the alarm after finding his wife Carol, 61, and two daugthers seriously injured at their home in Bushey. Picture: Facebook

Police have warned the public not to approach Clifford as he is believed to be armed with a crossbow.

Police and paramedics were called to the Hunt family home in Bushey on Tuesday evening following reports that three women had been found with serious injuries.

Louise ran a dog grooming business out of their home.

A customer posted a tribute on the firm’s Facebook page. Caren Barnett wrote: “No words can describe the loss I feel after today’s horrific news.

"You were so loved and Scooby adored you…you built up an amazing business and were always so kind and gentle. May you RIP with your sister and mum xxx”

Police have launched a manhunt for Kyle Clifford, 26, from the Enfield area
Police have launched a manhunt for Kyle Clifford, 26, from the Enfield area. Picture: Hertfordshire Police

The women’s bodies were found at a home on Ashlyn Close in Bushey last night.

Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner Jonathan Ash-Edwards said: "My thoughts are with the family and friends of the women who have been shockingly killed in this terrible incident in Bushey.

Police attend scene in Bushey where three women were found dead

"It will no doubt send shockwaves through the local community and across Hertfordshire.

"I am being kept updated by the police and I urge the public to support the police with any information about the whereabouts of the named suspect."

A forensic officer at the scene in Ashlyn Close, Bushey, Hertfordshire, where three women, who police believe to be related, were found with serious injuries and died at the scene
A forensic officer at the scene in Ashlyn Close, Bushey, Hertfordshire, where three women, who police believe to be related, were found with serious injuries and died at the scene. Picture: Alamy

Chief Supt Simpson said the three murders in Bushey are believed to be "targeted".

He told reporters: "Our overarching objective today is to protect public safety and to locate Kyle Clifford, who is wanted in connection with the murder of the three women in what we believe is a targeted incident.

John Hunt raised the alarm after finding his wife Carol, 61, and two daughters seriously injured
John Hunt raised the alarm after finding his wife Carol, 61, and two daughters seriously injured. Picture: Facebook

"We have extensive police resources deployed to various locations in north London and also the Bushey area.

"The manhunt also involves armed police officers and specialist search teams responding at pace in the wake of what has been a horrific incident involving what is currently believed to be a crossbow, but other weapons may also have been used."

Police near the scene of the triple murder this morning
Police near the scene of the triple murder this morning. Picture: LBC

Members of the public have been warned not to approach Clifford and to contact police with any sightings.

The victims have been described as a "friendly family."

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she did not know the victims well but they were a friendly family.

“We would see them every day passing by and they would say good morning,” she said.

Police make statement after three women were killed in Bushey

“It’s really sad what’s happened, very shocking.”

Detective Superintendent Rob Hall from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit said: “This is an incredibly difficult incident for the victims’ family and we would ask that their privacy is respected as they come to terms with what has happened.

Police this morning at the Ashlyn Close cul-de-sac
Police this morning at the Ashlyn Close cul-de-sac. Picture: LBC

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 “Whilst we are still in the early stages of this investigation, we are actively seeking Kyle Clifford who we believe could be in the areas of Hertfordshire or North London.

 “Given the serious nature of the incident, I would ask anyone who knows where he is to contact police immediately. If you believe you see him, please do not approach him and dial 999 straight away. He may still be in possession of a weapon.

 “Our enquires will continue over the coming days to ascertain the full circumstances of what happened but I would also like to take this opportunity appeal to anyone who was in the area around Ashlyn Close from around lunchtime on Tuesday until 7pm, and believes they may have seen anything that could assist the investigation, to contact us.

 “This incident will of course be of concern to local residents. Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team will be in the area today so please do speak to them if you need to.”

A local resident who gave his name only as Riaz told LBC: “I think it’s very sad. “It sounds like it is a relationship issue. “It’s a tragic situation.”

Matt Turmaine, MP for Watford, said: "This is a tragic case. The police are urgently doing everything they can to apprehend the person they believe is responsible for this crime.

"I would urge members of the public who have any information that would be of help in this case to come forward and assist the police."

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called around 7pm on Tuesday 9 July to a property in Ashlyn Close in Bushey.

"Three ambulances, a rapid response vehicle, an ambulance officer vehicle, the Hazardous Area Response Team, the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and London Air Ambulance were sent to the scene. Sadly, despite the team’s best efforts, three women were pronounced dead at the scene.”

Anyone with information should go to herts.police.uk/report or call the non-emergency number 101, quoting Op Infauna.

People can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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