Four arrested over murder of 'devoted father' found dead on Yorkshire Moors

17 May 2021, 21:01

Rhys Thompson, 29, was found dead on the Yorkshire Moors on Friday
Rhys Thompson, 29, was found dead on the Yorkshire Moors on Friday. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Four people have been arrested over the murder of a "devoted father" whose body was found on the Yorkshire Moors last week.

It is believed the man, named as 29-year-old Rhys Thompson, and his three friends were in a disturbance with another group in the early hours of Thursday morning.

His body was discovered off Pike End Road in Rishworth, Calderdale, just three hours later after the incident, which detectives believe took place in Crumpsall, Manchester - close to where Rhys lived.

A post-mortem found that he died of serious head injuries caused by a weapon.

Paying tribute to Rhys, his family said: "Our beloved son, Rhys Thompson, was our everything. A sweet, funny, warm-hearted man, a fantastic brother, devoted father, loving boyfriend and respectful loyal friend. 

"Rhys had the biggest heart and loved his family and friends dearly. He would always help when he could, he was a beautiful soul.  We all miss him terribly; he did not deserve to be taken so soon.

"We are heartbroken; his loss will change our lives forever. We cannot imagine a future without him.

GMP said detectives have so far arrested four men on suspicion of murder who were spoken to in custody on Sunday 16 May and have since been released under investigation.

One of their main lines of enquiry is a disturbance that occurred at around 3.40am earlier that morning on Delaunays Road, Crumpsall.

Rhys Thompson was found dead off Pike End Road on the Yorkshire Moors
Rhys Thompson was found dead off Pike End Road on the Yorkshire Moors. Picture: PA Images

The four people have now been released pending investigation, with detectives from Greater Manchester Police's Major Incident Team continuing their search for evidence.

Officers are sifting through hours of CCTV footage to determine what caused the incident and who was involved.

Superintendent Helen Critchley said: "This is a seriously complex investigation which involves detectives pursuing several lines of enquiry and we are making sure that we are doing all we can to get answers for Rhys's family.

"It is absolutely vital that anyone with even the slightest bit of information contacts police, particularly for members of the public in the Crumpsall area that may have heard a disturbance in the early hours of Thursday morning - this is believed to have pertinent links to the ultimate discovery of Rhys's body a few hours later in Rishworth.

"There has been an increase in police presence in the Moss Side and Crumpsall areas since this fatal attack and this will continue to take place to reassure the community.

"All our thoughts are with Rhys's family at this extremely difficult time and we are doing all we can to get them the answers as to how their loved one was so tragically taken from them."

An 'incident portal' has been set up for anyone with information, images or video content to upload to assist officers in their hunt for Rhys' killers.

Police have also asked anybody with information to contact them on 0161 856 4815 quoting Operation Linnett.