Neil Entwistle, 27, flees to Britain after wife and baby found murdered
Police investigate vendetta after suspected York based Internet scam
A York graduate remains a “person of interest” in relation to the shooting of his wife and nine-month old baby.
The bodies of Rachel Entwistle, 27, who also spent two years studying at York University as an overseas student, and the couple’s baby daughter, Lillian, were found by US detectives in their family home in the small town of Hopkinton near Boston, Massachusetts on Sunday 22nd January.
Initially the police believed that they had suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning, but it was later discovered that Rachel had been killed by a gunshot wound to the head and Lillian by a shot to the torso.
Neil, who took a degree in Electronics Engineering at York and graduated in 2002, met Rachel whilst they were both members of the University’s boat club. A former member of the club who had rowed with the couple, Richard Skinner, said “Having known both Neil and Rachel ever since they first met at university, this news comes as a great shock to me and I hope that justice can be done in finding the perpetrators.”
Another friend of the couple at university, John Gibbard, said “Given that they met while rowing at York and many of [the club] will have been coxed by Rachel or rowed with Neil, [the case] is very close to the club’s heart.” The Students’ Union and the University Boat club declined to comment on the case.
Neil Entwistle, 27, left the US and flew to London from Boston two days before the bodies were found. The discovery was made after guests invited to a dinner party on the 21st found the lights in the house turned off. The American authorities launched a hunt to get in contact with Mr
Entwistle after finding his abandoned BMW in the car park of Boston’s airport, and they were not aware of his whereabouts until he contacted them at the beginning of last week from his parents’ house in Worksop.
He was persuaded by four police officers who travelled over from America to attend the US embassy in London to answer questions, after a lack of evidence and refusal to brand him as a suspect meant he could not be arrested by British police.
In a statement released to the media, District Attorney Martha Coakley, who is leading the investigation in America, said “At this time, Neil Entwistle, husband of Rachel and father of Lillian, remains a person of interest in this investigation.
“No one has been ruled in and no one has been ruled out as a suspect in this investigation. A person of interest is a person who we believe may have relevant information about the case that we are investigating.”
Ms Coakley has confirmed that the authorities are not planning to extradite Mr Entwistle to the US, and added “The only thing I will say is we’re interested in getting some information from him. I will say he has been cooperative. He is not considered a suspect.” She also added that the murders, the first to occur in the small town for over 10 years, did not appear random killings.
Neither of the Entwistles had a gun permit and the murder weapon has not yet been recovered. When police were called to the Entwistles’ rented house they had to force the front door open as it had been locked by the last person to leave. A post-mortem was conducted on Rachel and Lillian Entwistle at the end of last week and forensic evidence shows the murders took place late on the Friday or early Saturday morning.
The couple married in August 2003 in Manomet, Massachusetts after having moved from England to America to start a family. An entry on Mr Entwistle’s profile on the Friends Reunited site reads “Getting married to the most amazing woman in the world this summer: Rachel. We met through rowing. She was my cox, I her stroke! She’s from the good ol’ US, Boston to be more specific, Plymouth if you’re really curious.”
The Boston Herald has reported that Neil Entwistle answered investigators’ question of whether he would return to the US for the funeral with the response “I don’t know. Maybe.”
Police are also investigating the possibility of a vendetta against the couple, as investigations have revealed a number of websites linked to Neil Entwistle and York that are believed to be scam sites.