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Uni Parks in murder search

Oxford was the scene of a large-scale police operation over the Bank Holiday weekend as around 100 officers searched for a man suspected of killing three people in Didcot.

The body of Jed Allen, 21, was discovered by two members of the public in a wooded area next to a cycle path off Marston Ferry Road shortly before 5pm on Monday 25th May.

Allen had been sought by the police following the discovery of the bodies of his mother, Janet Jordan, her six-year-old daughter Derrin, and her partner Philip Howard, 44, at an address in Vicarage Road, Didcot, on Saturday evening. All three had suffered fatal stab wounds.

Police later recovered a knife, believed to be the murder weapon, from the scene. Officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with the murders, and an inquest will be opened in due course.

The head of thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit, Det Supt. Chris Ward, said in a statement, “My condolences go out to the families and loved-ones of Janet Jordon, Philip Howard and Derrin Jordon. We have specially trained officers with the families and we will continue to support them at this extremely difficult time.

“I would like to thank the public for all their help during this investigation, as well as their patience while we have been carrying out searches across Oxfordshire. I would especially like to thank the residents of Didcot who have cooperated with the police during this tragic period.”

University Parks were closed to the public on Sunday as part of the police search. A police helicopter was seen hovering over the area, whilst officers undertook searches inside the 70-acre site. Some of the police officers were wearing riot gear or being assisted by sniffer dogs. Armed officers were also sighted at the parks. The site reopened to the public on Monday morning. 

Police were also seen searching the grounds of Lady Margaret Hall on Sunday. A second-year LMH student told Cherwell, “It all suddenly felt a bit more real when I saw two armed police and a porter walk past my window. I didn’t feel nearly as safe after that.”

On the day when Allen’s body was discovered, Merton students were playing cricket in the Merton Recreation Grounds close to where the body was found. Charlie Atkins, a second-year Mertonian, commented, “We were playing cricket in a field just across from the where they supposedly found Allen. The helicopter was very close by, but I didn’t really sense what was happening at the time.

“Looking back, it’s pretty eerie to think how close it all was. These awful things don’t normally happen so close to home.”

Another Merton student and Oxford native, Charles Graham, told Cherwell, “I was walking my dogs on Wolfson College land, and walked into the line of eight or so police officers, all with guns, and some others with police dogs.

“They said I could continue on my walk as long as my dogs were on their leads, and said I had to go behind the police line – so I was allowed to walk my dogs back towards University Parks.

“A helicopter stayed above us all the way during our walk, until we returned to our car.”

Allen is believed to have moved from Didcot to Oxford on Saturday evening.

Police had not previously searched the area off Marston Ferry Road where Allen’s body was found.

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