Murder probe as man found dead following ‘dog burglary’ with labradoodle stolen

A murder investigation has been launched by police after a body was found when responding to a "dog burglary".

The theft of a labradoodle saw police called out to a property on Ainsworth Road in Radcliffe, Manchester, at around 10.30am on Tuesday (August 22).

Reports of a burglary at a home in the street which led to the theft of a white labradoodle sparked a murder probe after Donald Prentice Patience was found dead inside.

Police pronounced the man dead at the scene, with Greater Manchester Police confirm three men have so far been arrested in connection with the incident on suspicion of murder.

The force says arrests were made "shortly after" Mr Patience's body was found, with a "swift" response to the murder probe leading to the questioning of two men, aged 27 and 41.

The pair were released on bail pending further enquiries, while a 39-year-old man remains in police custody as GMP continue their search for the cause of death.

Mr Patience's family described him as a "a much-loved son, brother and father and will be sorely missed by many, affectionately known as Prentice".

Detective Chief Inspector Rachel Smith, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: "First, as a force, we would like to pass on our condolences to Donald's loved ones at this extremely distressing time, we are doing all we can to get the answers they deserve and find out what has happened.

"Since we were made aware of this incident earlier this week our investigation has been swift and precise, with three arrested because of our enquiries with one at the scene at the time of the suspected burglary.

"I would like to reassure the local public, as I understand there will be alarm when finding out about this, but we are confident it is a targeted attack."

Donald's family are being supported by police liaison officers while the dog is being looked after by the relevant authorities.

DCI Smith added: "We are also looking for people who may know Donald, have seen him walking his beloved white labradoodle in the local area or have any knowledge of any activity at or near his address, which is an end terrace on Ainsworth Road, since Friday, August 18 2023."

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