Murder suspect had been reported for serious sexual assault

A man wanted by police in connection with the murder of a mum-of-two from Salford had been reported to the police for a serious sexual assault against her.

Linzi Ashton's body was found at her home in Salford on Saturday night. Police have launched a manhunt for her ex-partner Michael Cope.

Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney, said:

“As previously stated we know that Michael Cope had been in a relationship with Linzi and through that relationship there have been reports to police in respect of allegations made by her.

“This includes a serious sexual offence and an assault that were reported at the end of April and the middle of May respectively.

“I am not going to go into great detail about these offences or our involvement, suffice it to say Michael Cope was wanted in connection with these matters and numerous attempts were made to arrest him.

“Clearly he is now also wanted for murder meaning our involvement in relation to these earlier matters will rightly come under enhanced scrutiny and that is why we have made the referral to the IPCC and why we are also reviewing these matters ourselves.”

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Reward to find murder suspect

A £5000 reward is on offer to find the prime suspect in the murder of a Salford mum. Michael Cope, 28, is wanted over the killing of his ex-partner Linzi Ashton. Her body was found last weekend. She had previously accused him of rape.