Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton Common death: Police search for witnesses

Gerald Pragnell Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Gerald Pragnell disappeared after leaving work at Southampton Airport at 06:30 GMT last Thursday

Detectives have returned to the scene where a missing man was found dead in a bid to find fresh clues.

Gerald Pragnell, 66, disappeared after leaving work last Thursday and was found strangled off Cemetery Road, near Southampton Common, on Saturday.

Police handed out 500 leaflets to motorists, joggers, cyclists and dog walkers to find fresh lines of inquiry, a week after he was reported missing.

Tommy Scott, 34, of no fixed address, has been charged with his murder.

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Gerald Pragnell had a silver Mercedes GLA with the registration GIW 4045
Image caption Police questioned motorists and passers-by after Gerald Pragnell was found strangled in woodland
Image caption An area of the common remains cordoned off

He appeared at Winchester Crown Court earlier and was remanded in custody until a hearing in January.

Mr Pragnell, 66, was last seen leaving Southampton Airport where he worked at 06:30 GMT.

Police asked people whether they saw Mr Pragnell or his car and appealed for motorists with dashcams to check footage on their devices.

Det Ch Insp Dave Morgan said: "If you were in the area of Cemetery Road between 6.30am and 8.30am, you may have captured Mr Pragnell's silver Mercedes without realising."

Six other suspects arrested on suspicion of murder have been released pending further inquiries.

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

Image caption Police found the body of the 66-year-old in woodland off Cemetery Road on Saturday

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