POLICE investigating the murder of a beloved family man believe he may have been involved in drug dealing.

Detectives have also revealed that Mark Bradbury died after suffering 'significant' head injuries and was last seen three days before his body was found at his home in Padgate.

Cheshire Police issued have issued a renewed plea for information from members of the public over the murder, two weeks on from when the 58-year-old was last seen alive.

Warrington Guardian:

Mr Bradbury was sighted at his home on Station Road South at around 5pm on Thursday, August 1, after walking his golden retriever with his brother.

Officers found him dead in the bungalow at around 10pm on Sunday, August 4, after receiving reports of concerns for the safety of a man.

His death was initially treated as unexplained by officers, but a murder investigation was opened following a Home Office post-mortem.

The force is treating Mr Bradbury’s suspected low-level involvement in the supply of cocaine as a key lead in tracing his killer.

Warrington Guardian:

Detective inspector Sarah Oliver said: “This is not about residents seeing anything different, but more about who was visiting Mark’s address and the vehicles they were using in the weeks running up to his death.

“During our investigation, a picture has emerged of Mark’s involvement in the supply of drugs – and this is a line of enquiry that we are pursuing in connection with his death.

“The individuals who frequented his address may have some information that could hold the key to us finding those involved.

Warrington Guardian:

“I know people may feel reluctant in coming forward and reticent to speak to police, but they can call Crimestoppers anonymously.

“We are also keen to piece together Mark’s movements from when he was last seen on Thursday, August 1, to when he was found on Sunday and are asking anyone who may have seen him during this time to contact us.

“I believe the answer to this crime lies in information from the local community.”

Warrington Guardian:

Chief inspector Simon Meegan and detective inspector Sarah Oliver

A heavy police presence remains on scene this week, and is likely to remain in place for a number of days yet.

Patrols in the area have been stepped up as part of the investigation, codenamed Operation Keynotes.

Warrington Guardian:

Chief inspector Simon Meegan added: “Understandably, the local community are concerned about what has happened to Mark and everyone who knew him are saddened by his death.

“We have local officers visible in the area to provide reassurance and there to speak to if anyone has any concerns.

Warrington Guardian:

“I want to reassure residents that we will continue to have officers on patrol while the investigation is ongoing.”

Mr Bradbury’s daughter Hannah paid tribute to her dad in the wake of the dog and sport lover’s death.

Warrington Guardian:

Mark Bradbury

In a statement, the 19-year-old said: “Mark was a family man, the life and soul of every party, generous and loyal.

“Everyone who knew him is suffering from immense heartache.

“A lover of sport, dogs and his daughter, Mark will be greatly missed as he is loved.”

Warrington Guardian:

Mr Bradbury was killed only metres away from where Garry Newlove was murdered in 2007 on the same street, on the other side of the subway under Birchwood Way.

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Warrington Guardian:

Anyone with information is urged to contact Cheshire Police on 101, quoting incident number IML476959, or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.