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Knife found in river during Canterbury double murder investigation

A knife has been found in a river by police investigating an alleged double murder in Canterbury.

The discovery was confirmed this week as a pregnant teenager yesterday became the third person charged in connection with the deaths of Natasha Sadler Ellis and her partner Simon Gorecki.

The pair were found dead at a house in Dickens Avenue, off the Sturry Road, on Tuesday, March 29. Both had suffered stab wounds.

Man's body was found in the River Stour
Man's body was found in the River Stour

Ms Sadler Ellis’ son, Connaugh Harris, 20, and a 16-year-old boy were also stabbed during the alleged attacks on Tuesday, March 29.

Mechanic Foster Christian, 54, who lived at the house with Mr Gorecki, was arrested at the scene and later charged with two counts of murder and two of GBH with intent.

Naomi Toro, 35, of Keyworth Mews, Canterbury, was arrested and charged with assisting an offender by disposing of a knife.

Natasha Sadler and Simon Gorecki
Natasha Sadler and Simon Gorecki

And yesterday, pregnant 18-year-old Samantha Groombridge, of Athelstan Road, Canterbury, was also charged with assisting an offender and will appear in court next Thursday.

Three days after the deaths rocked the Poet’s Estate, police and fire crews descended on a stretch of the River Stour at Fordwich.

The area was a hive of activity, with police setting up an incident command centre in the car park of the George and Dragon pub.

Foster Christian
Foster Christian
Samantha Groombridge
Samantha Groombridge

A picturesque cyclepath runs between Dickens Avenue and the small town.

A knife was discovered last Tuesday by specialist search teams scouring the river, but police could not yet say if it was used during the suspected murders.

It has been sent to a laboratory for forensic analysis and detectives are awaiting the results.

Meanwhile, the semi-detached house where Ms Sadler Ellis, 40, and Mr Gorecki, 47, died remains empty.

It is thought five people had been living there before the deaths, sharing communal facilities.

Serious crime officers in Dickens Avenue. Picture: @Kent_999s
Serious crime officers in Dickens Avenue. Picture: @Kent_999s

A neighbour said that after police work had been completed, workmen had been in and out of the house redecorating the property and putting down new carpet.

She said: “I think there are five bedrooms and three of the previous tenants are returning.”

Christian is expected to enter a plea to the murder charges in June.

Toro will appear in the dock at Maidstone Crown Court later this month.


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