Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton Common murder inquiry: Victim named by police

Gerald Pragnell Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Gerald Pragnell's body was found on Southampton Common

Murder detectives have named a man whose body was found in woodland on Saturday evening.

Gerald Pragnell, 66, from Southampton, was found near Cemetery Road on Southampton Common.

He disappeared after leaving work at Southampton Airport at 06:30 GMT on Thursday and was reported missing the following day, police said.

A 34-year-old man - one of seven people from Southampton arrested on suspicion of murder - remains in police custody.

The other six suspects have been released pending further inquiries, police said earlier.

They include five men, aged 20, 23, 24, 25 and 36, and a 31-year-old woman.

Image caption Police found the body in woodland off Cemetery Road
Image caption Undergrowth has been searched for evidence

Detectives have appealed for dash cam footage of Mr Pragnell's car travelling through Southampton on Thursday morning.

Det Ch Insp Dave Morgan said: "We know that Mr Pragnell left work... in his car, a silver Mercedes GLA, with the registration GIW 4045.

"So we are keen to find out where his car was from the point he left work at around 6.30am until around 11am later that same day."

Police have continued to search undergrowth on Monday near the crime scene on Cemetery Road.

Southampton Airport said Mr Pragnell had worked there for 11 years and was employed by APCOA Parking as a night customer services advisor.

In a statement, the airport said colleagues were "tremendously saddened" to lose "a valued member of the airport family".

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