British police track down suspect in crossbow killings of BBC presenter's wife, daughters

British police track down suspect in crossbow killings of BBC presenter's wife, daughters

British police said they found Wednesday the man suspected of using a crossbow to kill the wife and two daughters of a BBC radio commentator near London, and that the suspect is receiving medical treatment for his injuries.

In a statement, Hertfordshire Police said 26-year-old Kyle Clifford had been found in the Enfield area of north London.

The BBC has confirmed that the women killed were the family of its well-known radio commentator John Hunt.

While the manhunt was underway, the public were urged not to approach Clifford, who is from Enfield, around 52 kilometres east of the site of the killing.

Armed police officers, forensic personnel and ambulance staff were seen at Hilly Fields Park, which is popular with joggers and dog-walkers, and the adjacent Lavender Hill cemetery.

The area has been closed off, and an ambulance helicopter was also at the scene.

Police have not confirmed whether the intense activity is connected to the manhunt as it is an ongoing investigation. Police said the three women — aged 25, 28 and 61 — were found seriously injured in a house in Bushey, northwest of London, on Tuesday evening.

Police and ambulance crews tried to save them, but they were pronounced dead at the scene.

The BBC confirmed the victims were Carol Hunt, wife of commentator John Hunt, and two daughters, Louise Hunt and her older sister Hannah Hunt.

Bouquets of flowers lay on the grass at the bottom of a sign that reads
Mourners left flowers near the scene where Carol Hunt, Louise Hunt and Hannah hunt were killed at their home in Bushey, England. (Jonathan Brady/PA/The Associated Press)

John Hunt is the main racing commentator for BBC 5 Live, the corporation's main news and sports radio channel.

His voice is known to millions through his coverage of the world famous Grand National and The Derby.

The Daily Mail newspaper and others reported that he found the bodies early Tuesday evening after returning home from reporting at Lingfield Park racecourse south of London.

As part of a note sent to BBC staff, the broadcaster described the incident as "utterly devastating" and that it will provide Hunt "with all the support we can."

Suspect's connection unconfirmed

Police did not say whether Clifford was connected to the women, but British media reported that he was an ex-boyfriend of one of the daughters.

The BBC reported that Clifford left the British Army after a brief period of service in 2022.

Local council member Laurence Brass, who lives nearby, said the area where the killings took place is "a typical leafy British suburb."

A portrait of a man with brown hair and a beard, wearing a black suit jacket, black tie and white shirt.
Hertfordshire Police released this undated photo Kyle Clifford, who was located after a police search following the killings of three women in a house near London. (Hertfordshire Police/The Associated Press)

"At about eight o'clock last night, I was watching the football on television, and suddenly a helicopter landed in the lawn outside my flat, which is at the top of this road, and then my phone started going, and I was told that there was a major incident here in Bushey and we should all keep away because there was somebody apparently on the run," he told the BBC.

Addressing the suspect directly, Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson said, "Kyle, if you are seeing or hearing this, please make contact with the police."

Britain's new home secretary, Yvette Cooper, said she is being kept "fully informed" about the "truly shocking" incident.

People in Britain do not need a licence to own a crossbow, but it is illegal to carry one in public without a reasonable excuse.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said Cooper will "swiftly consider" the findings from a recently launched review into whether further controls on crossbows should be introduced.