Suspicious death of Latvian on Guernsey

Take note – story published 5 years ago

A Latvian is believed to have died in suspicious circumstances on the British island of Guernsey, prompting speculation online that he may have been victim of an assassination, though police are urging against jumping to any such conclusions.

British media including the BBC report that Mikus Alps, aged 33 from Latvia is likely to be the identity of human remains found in a burned-out car on the south coast of the small island near the French coast.

In the past, Alps was reported to have served as a volunteer with Ukrainian forces defending their homeland against Russia-backed groups in the east of the country, prompting speculation that this fact might have something to do with the violent nature of his death.

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Police have asked the public and media not to jump to any premature conclusions while investigations and identification of the body continues, though that has not prevented various theories being floated online.

"I am aware of a significant amount of speculation, being circulated both via social media and international media reports, in relation to our investigation into the circumstances surrounding a burnt-out car being found on the morning of Monday 8th January," said Patrick Rice, Guernsey Police Chief Officer on January 14.

"We have confirmed the identity markings on the car. The vehicle is registered to Mr Mikus Alps, who as we previously confirmed was reported missing on Wednesday 10th January. Officers have carried out searches at various properties linked to Mr Alps. I am aware of speculation that further remains have been found. While I would not normally comment on rumour, on this occasion I will confirm that no such additional discovery has been made.

"I can also now confirm the presence of parts of human skeletal remains in the car. This was confirmed following examination by a specialist in the field.

"At this point I cannot stress enough that people should avoid jumping to conclusions or speculating on this case. We cannot confirm the identity of the deceased at this stage. A post mortem will be carried out later this week, with further forensic tests needed to try and confirm identity. This process may take a couple of weeks due to the nature of the remains.

"I would also repeat our earlier statement that we are keeping an open mind about the potential direction of this investigation. We will be guided by facts and not speculation," said the officer.

"We are committed to using social media to update the community but we would urge anyone commenting on our posts to do so responsibly. Repeating unconfirmed reports or speculation does not help anyone."


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