Page last updated at 19:35 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Murder suspect's body discovered

George Appleton
Police said George Appleton was a serious threat to women

A man police were hunting in connection with the murder of a mother-of-one in Salford has been found dead.

George Appleton, 40, went missing shortly before 36-year-old Clare Wood's badly burnt body was discovered at her home on Friday. She had been strangled.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that a body found hanging in a derelict building in Blackfriars just after midday on Thursday is Mr Appleton's.

He was the only suspect in the murder of Miss Wood, his former girlfriend.

Mr Appleton had been given a fixed penalty notice for smashing the front door of Miss Wood's home in Blackfriars a week before she was killed, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Clare Wood
Clare Wood's home was fitted with a police alarm

Detectives revealed earlier that Mr Appleton had been arrested last month over a separate allegation of assault against Miss Wood, who had a 10-year-old daughter.

A homelink device, an alarm which notifies police in an emergency, had been fitted in her home, Greater Manchester Police said.

A nationwide manhunt for Mr Appleton was started, circulating his details to all major ports and transport networks.

He was known to have used social networking and dating websites to contact women.

Supt Ian Palmer said: "Clare Wood was, by all accounts, a lovely friendly person, and her violent death has shocked all of her friends and family.

"We will now begin the process of collecting all the evidence we have about who murdered her, and will be providing Clare's family with support and guidance at this tragic time.

"We really did feel he (George Appleton) could pose a threat to other women, and it was crucial our warning messages were publicised."

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