Police have named a man they want to speak to over the “brutal” murder of a mother-of-two at her home.
The body of Linzi Ashton, 25, was discovered after police were called to a house in Westbourne Road, in Winton, Salford, shortly before 6pm on Saturday.
Greater Manchester Police have launched a manhunt for local man Michael Cope, who they believe is responsible for her death.
Cope, 28, had been in an “acrimonious” relationship with the barmaid and their turbulent love life had been the subject of previous police contact.
Det Chief Supt Darren Shenton said: “Linzi is the mother of two young children and has been brutally murdered. It is an early stage of the investigation and I am not going to speculate as to the cause of Linzi’s death. However, I am satisfied that she has been brutally assaulted.
“This is a fast-moving investigation and I have declared a suspect who I believe responsible for Linzi’s death, a former partner of hers, a local Salford man by the name of Michael Cope.
“Michael Cope and Linzi had been in a relationship. That relationship has been acrimonious and indeed the subject of reports to the police.
“A young woman has been brutally murdered. I believe the person responsible is this local man Michael Cope and I need the public’s support to locate and actually provide information which will allow the police to arrest Cope.
“Cope himself can surrender to the police and contact any local police officer or police station but I give this caveat to people who may know Cope and may be harbouring him – I would take a particular dim view of anybody who provides assistance to Cope knowing that he is being actively searched by police in connection with this murder.
“Clearly the death of Linzi has caused significant and massive devastation to the family. There are specially trained officers currently dealing and liaising with Linzi’s family.”
Police have cordoned off part of Westbourne Road for forensic examinations. A number of floral tributes have been left at the cordon. Several more floral tributes and cards were left at the Duke of York pub in Eccles town centre where Ms Ashton worked.