A man is believed to have been murdered in his own home by dognappers after a labradoodle was stolen from the scene.
Patience was found dead in his home on Tuesday (22 August), and police discovered that his beloved white labradoodle, Layla, had also been stolen.
Police were called 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday after a man had taken the stolen labradoodle to a dog grooming business, located only 160ft from Patience’s home.
The man was arrested and the dog was seized by the police, with the dog now in the care of the relevant authorities, Greater Manchester Police have confirmed.
A Home Office post-mortem examination has taken place and has concluded that his death is suspicious.
Patience was described by his family as a ‘much-loved son, brother and father and will be sorely missed by many, affectionately known as Prentice'.
He shared three children with his ex-wife Kirsty, who called him an ‘incredible man’ who ‘adored his children’.
In a social media post, she wrote: “We are all truly heartbroken at this news and we are all struggling to come to terms with his death.”
Patience’s family are currently being supported by family liaison officers.
Police currently have a 39-year-old man in police custody on suspicion of murder, with a 27-year-old man and a 41-year-old having been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Detective Chief Inspector Rachel Smith of GMP’s Major Incident Team said: “First, as a force, we would like to pass on our condolences to Donald's loved ones at this extremely distressing time, we are doing all we can to get the answers they deserve and find out what has happened.
“Since we were made aware of this incident earlier this week our investigation has been swift and precise, with three arrested because of our enquiries with one at the scene at the time of the suspected burglary.
“I would like to reassure the local public, as I understand there will be alarm when finding out about this, but we are confident it is a targeted attack."
Investigators are urging anyone who has any information to contact them immediately.
“We now want to appeal to the local community for any eyewitness accounts or footage of any activity that we may be able to link to this investigation.
“We are also looking for people who may know Donald, have seen him walking his beloved white labradoodle in the local area or have any knowledge of any activity at or near his address, which is an end terrace on Ainsworth Road, since Friday 18 August 2023.
“It is crucial we have as much detail as possible to help piece together what has happened in this tragic incident where someone has sadly lost their life.
“We are keeping all available lines of enquiry open but no matter how small, your piece of information may be that crucial bit of evidence we need that can help us with this investigation.”
If you have any information, contact GMP’s Major Incident Team directly on 0161 856 3635 or 101 quoting incident number 1139 of 22/08/2023 or via the independent charity - Crimestoppers - on 0800 555 111.Featured Image Credit: GMP Facebook