Police have arrested a groom for allegedly murdering his bride just four days after their wedding – with her body found dumped in a suitcase near her home.
The discovery on Sunday near a playground in Lightcliffe on the outskirts of Halifax came after Dawn Walker, 52, who has a toddler son, tied the knot last Wednesday.
West Yorkshire Police have now arrested her new husband, father-of-three Thomas Nutt, 45, on suspicion of murder and are seeking no other suspects over the killing.
The couple got married at a registry office in Halifax in a ceremony attended by relatives and friends and were photographed signing the register with a child.
Forensic investigators have been searching the couple’s home in Brighouse and continue to question scrapman Nutt. His wife is believed to have been strangled.
Today, Miss Walker’s grieving family paid an emotional visit to the scene as they laid several bouquets of flowers and lit candles outside the property.
One tribute said: ‘Words can’t describe how much we will miss you. You have been taken far too soon and so cruelly. We love you so much.’
The family hugged one another and stood silently for about 20 minutes at the scene. One single bouquet marked the spot where Miss Walker was found.
Dawn Walker, 52, and Thomas Nutt, 45, got married at a registry office in Halifax, West Yorkshire, last Wednesday in a ceremony attended by relatives and friends
Dawn Walker is said to have become engaged to Thomas Nutt (together) in January 2020
Miss Walker, pictured with Nutt, is said to have had two children from a previous relationship
A wedding guest told The Sun: ‘I can’t believe what has happened. It was a lovely wedding and Dawn looked beautiful.
‘They should have been looking forward to a long, happy life together. I just can’t believe something like this has happened so soon after the marriage.’
Miss Walker, who is said to have become engaged to Nutt in January 2020, is reported to have had two children from a previous relationship.
Her daughter, Codie-Marie Shaw, 30, said: ‘Never leave things until it’s too late – I’ve learned the hard way.’ And her sister, Lisa Walker, 49, said: ‘My heart is truly broken.’
West Yorkshire Police are seeking no further suspects over the killing of Miss Walker
Police have arrested Nutt for allegedly murdering Miss Walker four days after their wedding
Devastated friends have been shocked by the death of ‘kind, caring and friendly’ Miss Walker
Another wedding guest said: ‘The ceremony was at 2.30pm and was followed by a reception at a local pub. We stayed most of the night. It was brilliant.’
Devastated friends have been shocked by the death of the ‘kind, caring and friendly’ mother. One said: ‘She got married on Wednesday and died on Sunday morning.
‘She was found inside a suitcase at the back of some trees. Now a little boy has been left with no mum. I think he’s about one or one-and-a-half.
‘She was the soundest person you could meet. She was friendly and generous. She once paid for a disabled man’s shopping when he was short.’
Dawn Walker had only been married for a matter of days before her body was discovered
Friends have described ‘generous’ Miss Walker as ‘the soundest person you could meet’
A neighbour said: ‘I am gobsmacked – there is no other word for it. It is devastating. I have lived here for 40 years and what has happened is just terrible.’
Murder detectives are keen to speak with the person who called them to report the death. The individual did not identify themselves to officers.
Police were initially called at 4.38pm on Sunday and are now keen to know more about suspicious activity in the hours leading up to that point.
Detective Inspector Amanda Wimbles, of the force’s homicide and major inquiry team, said: ‘Our enquiries into this incident are still at an early stage and we are particularly keen to speak with the person who initially called us.
Officers were called to reports of a body at a property in Lightcliffe, near Halifax, on Sunday
A police officer stands outside at a property in Lightcliffe, near Halifax, following the discovery
‘I would also encourage anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area to come forward and inform police by calling 101 or using the 101Live Chat facility on the website quoting log 1317 of October 31. Information can also be given to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.’
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman added: ‘Detectives are appealing for information regarding the body of a woman found in Lightcliffe, Halifax.
‘Officers are appealing to anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area of Aysgarth Avenue or the surrounding streets between 1pm and 4.38pm (on) Sunday afternoon.
‘The 45-year-old male arrested on suspicion of murder still remains in custody at this time.’