A senior coroner’s officer who wrote a report about how a serial killer may be on the loose in the UK has been suspended and is being investigated by police, it has been reported.
Investigator Stephanie Davies named a prime suspect who may have committed multiple murders since the 1990s, in her report about police investigations into homicides in northwest England.
Her suspect has not been publicly named. In her report Ms Davies wrote: “This individual will not stop killing until someone or something stops him.”
The existence of the report was revealed by The Sunday Times in August last year. Following the public revelation, Cheshire police’s professional standards department searched Ms Davies’ house, removing diaries, phones and her laptop.
On Sunday, the newspaper reported that Ms Davies, who works for the Cheshire police under the coroner’s direction, was being investigated.
She was accused of sharing police information with experts outside of the force without permission. Ms Davies was suspended while the Crown Prosecution Service considers charges.
Cheshire police had looked into her report about their investigations and determined no wrongdoing had been found.
The force declined to comment when approached, while Ms Davies has yet to comment on being under investigation.
Last year, it was reported Ms Davies became concerned about the prospect of a serial killer on the loose, after examining two cases in the Cheshire town of Wilmslow. In both cases husbands were deemed to have killed their wives before committing suicide.
In 1996, Howard Ainsworth was deemed by Cheshire police to have killed his wife Bea before killing himself. In 1999, Donald Ward was deemed to have killed his wife Auriel, again before killing himself.
Ms Davies noted further similarities in the cases including blunt weapon injuries, stab wounds, bodies in nightclothes being left on beds, and knives being left in bodies.
In her 179-page report Ms Davies, who told investigators she worked on it in her spare time, also raised concerns about a killing that took place in Didsbury, seven miles from Wilmslow.
Police said a man named Michael Higgins killed his wife Violet, but Mr Higgins’ family said he had advanced Parkinson’s disease so would not have been capable of murder-suicide.
Last year Chris Matheson, MP for Chester, said of Ms Davies: “This is somebody who has acted with the very best of intentions. The implications don’t bear thinking about if there is an offender at large who was responsible for these dreadful crimes. I can only hope that common sense will prevail”.