Avon & Somerset Police have received more than 50 reported sightings of wanted man Richard Scatchard as their enquiries to find him continue.
Detectives are still urging anyone with information about the whereabouts of the 70-year-old from Minehead to come forward and are issuing a new photo that was taken earlier this year.
Scatchard is wanted on a prison recall and is considered a risk to the public, specifically women he forms relationships with.
Police also want to talk to him in connection with a murder inquiry, following the death of 61-year-old Kelly Faiers at his home address on Sunday, 15th October.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Jess Aston said: “The circumstances of Kelly’s tragic death remain unclear. A forensic post-mortem examination has been carried out and proved to be inconclusive.
“We are waiting further test results to come back which we hope will enable us to provide Kelly’s family with the answers they deserve. A specially-trained family liaison officer is supporting them at this difficult time and ensuring they are updated on.”
Efforts to trace Scatchard’s movements have been carried out since officers returned to his home address in Blenheim Road on Monday, 16th October to ask him further questions about Kelly’s death and found he had disappeared.
Multiple public appeals seeking details about his whereabouts have been made in the past fortnight, which provided us with new information about the risk he poses.
DCI Aston said: “As we have previously stated, Scatchard is a prolific user of dating apps and a number of years ago was convicted of sexual offences in which he administered drugs to his victims to enable his crimes.
“We have a number of hypotheses about what has happened to Scatchard but remain anxious given the risk he poses he could have formed a new relationship with one or more women.
“It is also possible he may be trying to avoid being seen by anyone given the publicity about this investigation and therefore would encourage anyone to contact us if they have an outbuilding or a remote building that looks like it may have been accessed by someone.”
Scatchard is white, about 5ft 11ins tall, of average build with short grey hair. He has a Scottish accent and has previously claimed to be called Richard Dunlop. Given the amount of time since his last sighting however there is a chance he may look dishevelled.
We received information early on that Richard may be a grey Gepida Alboin Curve electric bike, but believe he could have a normal push bike instead.
The last confirmed sighting of Scatchard remains about 10am in Blenheim Road, Minehead, on Monday, 16th October.
We have received 55 reported sightings of him, which we are following up by speaking to those callers and analysing CCTV footage to try to establish if they are indeed Scatchard.
DCI Aston continued: “Many of these as yet unconfirmed sightings have been in Minehead or in the surrounding areas and extensive searches by officers are taking place in those areas.
“The local neighbourhood team are also carrying out extra high-visibility patrols in the area. A community letter and a poster with Scatchard’s photo on it are being distributed too, in a bid to further encourage people with information to come forward.
“We are also working with other police forces across the country too. We know he has recent links to the Cornwall, Gwent and South Wales while previous links include the Cheshire and Leicestershire areas.
“Our absolute priority remains to locate Scatchard and see if he can assist with our enquiries.
“Richard, if you see this, it is not too late to do the right thing and hand yourself in.”
If you see Scatchard, do not approach, instead phone 999 and provide the call handler with the reference 5223259285. If you know where he may be, please call 101 and give the same reference number.
You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.
No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.