Police launch murder investigation after kidnapped and tortured man found in West Lancs

Detectives in West Midlands have launched a murder investigation following the death of a man three months after he was kidnapped from his Birmingham home, tortured and found in West Lancashire.

CCTV released by West Midlands Police

Polish national Tomasz Samel, aged 45, was taken from his home on Raleigh Close, Handsworth, in a white van by men police are now trying to identify.

They escorted him to a white Peugeot Boxer van before driving away, at around 8.45am on 27th March 2019.

At 10.45pm later that day, he banged on the door of a property in Bickerstaffe, Lancashire, to get help.

Mr Samel was suffering from 75 per cent burns when he was found and was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Sadly Mr Samel died at a specialist burns unit in Liverpool on 21 June.

We need to know who these men are

Today officers launched a major appeal to establish the identity of his killers, as they released clear CCTV footage of two suspects. 

West Midlands Police are also trying to establish the current location of the van, which was displaying the registration OY55 MVT. It had previously been seen in Bristol and the Banbury area of Oxfordshire.

DCI Anastasia Miller, leading the investigation, said: “This was an absolutely horrific attack, and we’ve been working hard to understand exactly what happened on that day, and why.

Tomasz Samel

“We’re keeping an open mind about the motive, and have been carrying out extensive enquiries since March.

“What we do know is that the van that used to abduct Tomasz had been at Hopwood Park Services in Bromsgrove earlier that day.

“CCTV shows the suspects buying a fluorescent tabard which we believe was then used to give the illusion that they were at his home on legitimate business.

“We believe the answer to this lies with the people in these images and I’d urge people to study these images very closely.

“We’d also appeal to members of the Polish community in the UK to come forward and help us with any information they may have.

“It may be that people are reluctant to give us names or information, but they can give us information in complete anonymity.”

Anyone with information has been asked to contact police via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight, call 0121 626 6025, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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