Detectives hunting murder suspect arrest man

Detectives hunting a murder suspect wanted after the killing of a young mother have arrested a man on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Police have offered a £5,000 reward to entice anyone who might be helping Michael Cope, whom detectives have branded a “dangerous man”.

He is wanted for the “sustained and vicious” murder of barmaid Linzi Ashton, whose body was found at her home in Winton, Salford, on Saturday.

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A 25-year-old man was arrested last night and remains in police custody, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan said: “We are continuing to do all we can to trace Michael Cope and urge him once again to hand himself in to the police.

“We also reiterate our appeal to those who may have information on Cope’s whereabouts to speak to us in confidence.

“We are also working with our partner agencies to look at evicting anyone who is using their property to offer this man safety.”

Miss Ashton, a 25-year-old mother of two who had previously told police that Cope raped and attacked her, suffered injuries to her face and head, GMP said.

Her body was discovered by a relative at her home in Westbourne Road shortly before 6pm on Saturday.

Her two daughters, Daisy, two, and Destiny, seven, were not at the address at the time.

Police think Cope is still in the Salford area.

Mr Mulligan yesterday warned that Cope was known to the police for violent and aggressive behaviour.

He added: “He does represent a risk to the community.”

Speaking of the reward, offered by GMP and the charity Crimestoppers, he said: “His picture has been widely circulated but he has still not handed himself in, so it is likely that he is being offered sanctuary by his associates. That is why we are announcing this reward of £5,000 for anyone who has information leading to Cope’s arrest and conviction.”