Hunt for killer after Rawtenstall man found dead in Cornwall mine

Wheal Maid, Falmouth (Picture - Colin Higgs)

David Alderson, who was found dead at Wheal Maid, Falmouth

The suspect Kevin Cooper

First published in News
Last updated

A MAN from Rossendale has been found murdered in old mine works in Cornwall.

The body of David Alderson, 72, from Rawtenstall, was discovered by a dog walker at Wheal Maid, near Falmouth.

Police said the keen cyclist had suffered ‘significant’ head injuries, although forensic experts are still working to ascertain the cause of his death.

Mr Alderson, a retired driving instructor, moved to the south coast 30 years ago.

His son Christopher has said: “It’s quite emotional - a bit of a shock. A bit sad to know that, even though we didn’t see each other that much. He won’t be there to talk to any more.”

Mr Alderson is also said to have left a daughter.

His body was found lying in a shallow pool. Initially it was thought he may have suffered an cycling accident, as he was found dressed in a blue fleece, dark Ron Hill running trousers and black Specialised Sport TR cycling shoes.

Officers from Devon and Cornwall said they are treating his death as suspicious and released details of a man wanted in connection with his death.

Detectives are 'urgently seeking' Kevin Cooper, 33, from Redruth, and are warning the public not to approach him.

Police believe Mr Alderson left his home in Old Hill in a red Ford Fiesta, with the registration RV51 MZZ with Mr Cooper as passenger.

The car was found following Mr Alderson's death on Saturday January 18 in North Parade, Falmouth, not far from his home.

Mr Cooper was last spotted in Plymouth.

Supt Jim Pearce, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "I want to reassure the public as best I can that, whilst we are advising people not to approach Mr Cooper, we have no reason to believe that there is any threat to the public in general.

"We have committed significant resources to finding Mr Cooper including increasing police patrols in areas he may be."

Mr Alderson was also wearing a pair of brown gardening gloves, and a pair of spectacles was found nearby, along with a black baseball cap.

Mr Cooper, is white, 6ft 3ins, with brown, straight, receding hair and blue eyes, has been reported missing by his family.

The 33-year-old has a tattoo of a rose and the word Nan on the right side of his neck and is missing two upper teeth.

Det Supt Paul Burgan, of the Cornwall force’s major crime investigation team, added: “We also want to trace the last movements of Mr Alderson and are keen to speak to anyone who saw him in the days before his death.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101.

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