A murder investigation has been launched after it emerged a young dad found dead in a Pennines reservoir had told a friend he feared for his safety.

The body of 28 year-old Craig Wilcox was discovered in the Dovestones Reservoir late last month.

Craig had gone missing six weeks earlier and was last seen on 6 January 2014 at the home of relatives on Norfolk Crescent, in Failsworth.

He left the house at 7pm and did not say where he was going,

His parents reported him missing a few days later when he failed to return home.

Police were called to the reservoir on 24 February after reports a body had been seen.

 

Officers attended, with an underwater search team, and later found his body.

A post mortem was carried out, but the result was inconclusive.

Detectives investigating his death have now discovered Craig had confided in a friend to say he feared for his safety and officers have launched a murder investigation.

Det Chf Insp Pete Marsh from Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team, said: “It was totally out of character for Craig to go missing and when he did not return home his family contacted the police.

“We are trying to piece together his movements from when he went missing in January to when his body was recovered.

“We are especially keen to hear from anyone who visited Dovestones from 6 January 2014 and either saw any suspicious activity on that day or the days following, or believe you saw a man matching Craig’s description in the area.

Dovestone Reservoir
Dovestone Reservoir
 

“If your father, son, brother or friend had died in these circumstances you would want anyone who had information to come forward and speak to the police.

“However insignificant you think it might be it could be the vital piece of information which may help our investigation.”

Craig’s dad says he and his wife have been left devastated at the death of their son, who they say was looking forward to the future.

The father of Craig Wilcox has paid him tribute: “My son was a very generous lad.

“He had a great sense of humour and I can’t say anything bad about him.

“He was a fantastic father and he had lots of patience and time with his son.

“Craig was very close to his Mum, Carolyn and used to talk her all the time.

“He spoke positively about his plans for this year.

“He planned to get some money together to get his driving licence and then a driving job.

“He spoke about taking his son on holiday and teaching him to swim and ride a bike.

“He was positive about the future for the first time in a long time.

“We are totally devastated that Craig has died, we will never forgot him and will keep his memory alive for his son ‘Little Craig’.”

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