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Sun Jun 02 2002 19:13:29 ET
Press Association

The man wanted in connection with a severed head and dismembered body found strewn across an estate has fled to America, police said tonight.

A spokesman for Hampshire Police said Richard Markham, 27, left Heathrow airport at 11.05am on Friday on British Airways flight 175 bound for John F Kennedy International Airport, New York.

Markham is wanted for questioning by Hampshire police after the severed head of Tristian Lovelock, 25, was found on Friday afternoon by a dog-walker at a recreation ground in the Southam area of Basingstoke. Hampshire detectives today forwarded a warrant for Markham's arrest to Interpol in Washington.

Markham's description was circulated to police forces across the UK on Saturday. Police warned he was "very dangerous" and should not be approached by the public.

He is described as white, 6ft tall and of medium build, with green eyes, clean shaved, with short dark-brown cropped hair.

Mr Lovelock was last seen alive with Markham at 8pm on Thursday.

The pair had been drinking at a friend's house in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Police found human remains at a house in St Nicholas Court, Southam, Basingstoke on Friday afternoon. All the victim's dismembered body parts were found on Saturday during an extensive police search of the area.

The victim's legs were discovered at the Russell Howard Park. His torso and one arm were found at a house in St Nicholas Court. His other arm was found in a nearby back garden on the same estate.

Superintendent John James, leading the investigation, has said he believed Markham, thought to be the son of a former Royal Guard, was the sole occupant of the house in St Nicholas Court.

Mr James added: "At this time our assessment of Richard Markham is it's reasonable for us to say and warn the public that in our view he could be considered very dangerous and the public are encouraged not to approach him under any circumstances."

A postmortem examination showed Mr Lovelock died of injuries caused by blows to the head from a blunt instrument, police said.

His family were today too distressed to comment.

Tristian Lovelock was a pupil at Brighton Hill Community School, Basingstoke. An entry logged by Mr Lovelock on the Friends Reunited website on 15 April 2002 reads: "A carnival of words, magic and mystical a circle of friends mad and hysterical, watching a mad man dazed and bewildered shouting demands from the top of a temple

"I Tristian Robert Lovelock now announce I am clinically insane."

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