Tragic Craig Wilcox told pals he believed a gang was ‘after him’ before he was found dead at a secluded reservoir.

Craig, 28, from Manchester, was found dead at the Pennine Dovestone Reservoir on February 24.

But police have now launched a murder inquiry after pals told officers the dad-of-one had spoken of being ‘in trouble’ with a group of men.

DI Terry Crompton, from Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team, said Craig had been ‘vague’ about the perceived threat but officers now believe he was murdered .           

He said: “The trouble is he didn’t tell them any details about what this was about or who these people were. He kept things very much to himself.

“He spoke to a number of witnesses to tell them he was in some trouble and indicated that some lads were after him.”

Click below to see more from the Press conference

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Detectives are also looking for a blue canvass Vans shoe Craig is believed to have lost between the time he was last seen alive - at the home of relatives on Norfolk Crescent, Failsworth, on January 6 - and his body being discovered.

DI Crompton said: “That shoe is potentially very important.

“This is a very popular area for visitors and walkers and we would ask if anyone believes they have seen anything unusual or suspicious since Craig went missing, it could be vital to this investigation.”

DI Terry Crompton speaking at a press conference this morning at Dovestone
DI Terry Crompton speaking at a press conference this morning at Dovestone

Craig, whose six-year-old son was also called Craig, was last seen by his parents leaving the house at around 7pm but he did not say where he was going.

They then called police after a few days when he did not return.

Police were called to the reservoir on February 24 after a body was spotted in the water. Craig’s body was recovered by an underwater search team.

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

Murder investigation after dad found dead in Dovestones Reservoir told friend he feared for his life

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