Linzi Ashton murder: Police offer £5,000 reward over arrest of ‘dangerous’ suspect Michael Cope

By Ben Southworth

A £5,000 reward for information that aids the capture of rape and murder suspect Michael Cope was announced by Greater Manchester Police today.

Cope, 28, is the lead suspect in a police investigation into the death of Linzi Ashton on Saturday June 29.

Ms Ashton, of Westbourne Road in Winton, was found with head and face injuries, and a post-mortem examination showed that she died from ‘pressure to the neck and multiple injuries’.

Chief Superintendent Milligan, Salford’s most senior police officer, told a press conference at Swinton: “We want to ask him (Mr Cope) to surrender himself to the police as soon as possible.

“If anyone has any information about him they need to tell us.”

In a signal of the police force’s determination to capture Cope, Chief Superintendent Keith Milligan warned anyone harbouring him would be prosecuted.

It is believed that Cope is being hidden somewhere in the Salford area.

Cope, who hasn’t been seen since the discovery of Ms Ashton’s body on Saturday evening, has a previous history of violent and aggressive behaviour and has previously served time in jail.

Chief Superintendent Milligan urged caution around Cope, he said: “We believe he is a dangerous and unstable individual and should not be approached.”

He added: “I am appealing for anyone who knows where he is hiding to do the right thing and call police.”

An independent domestic homicide review will also be carried out to establish whether or not more could have been done to help Ms Ashton who alerted police that she was raped by Cope in April.

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 0161 856 5092 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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