Police are searching for Richard Scatchard to question him over the death of Kelly Faiers (Picture: PA)
Police are searching for a sex offender wanted for questioning over the death of a woman at his home in Somerset.
Avon and Somerset Police say Richard Scatchard, 70, poses a serious risk to women he forms relationships with.
He is wanted on recall to prison and is also wanted in connection with the murder investigation.
The force say Scatchard, of Minehead, was last seen in the coastal town on October 16 but could now be anywhere in the country.
Officers had been alerted to the sudden death of Kelly Faiers, 61, from Weston-super-Mare, at Scatchard’s home address on October 15.
A forensic post-mortem examination to determine the cause of her death was inconclusive but it is currently being treated as suspicious while detectives await the results of further tests.
Detective Chief Inspector Jess Aston, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: ‘Our thoughts are with Kelly’s family at this tragic time and we’re doing all we can to provide them with the answers they deserve.
‘Officers attended Scatchard’s address on October 15 and returned the following afternoon to speak to him about the death, but he had disappeared.
Kelly Faiers’s death is being treated as suspicious (Picture: PA)
‘We initially treated Scatchard as a high-risk missing person due to concerns he presented an immediate and serious risk of harm to himself.
‘As our inquiry has progressed, we have become less worried about his welfare and far more concerned about the danger he presents to other people.
‘His previous behaviour, along with information we have gathered since his disappearance, makes us anxious that he may have formed a new relationship with one or more women, and that he presents a serious risk to their safety.
‘Scatchard is a prolific user of dating apps and has previously been convicted of sexual offences in which he administered drugs to his victims to enable his crimes.
‘We’re using a wide range of resources and tactics to try and locate him but have so far been unsuccessful.’
Police said ‘extensive searches’ continue to be carried out on both land and at sea in the Minehead area but appealed for the public’s help to locate Scatchard.
Avon and Somerset Police say Scatchard, 70, poses a serious risk to women he forms relationships with (Picture: PA)
There have been 24 reported sightings of him following earlier appeals, with the majority of these in Minehead and nearby Watchet.
Members of the public are urged to call 999 immediately if they see him, and not to approach him.
Detectives are also appealing for information from anyone who may know where Scatchard is or has knowledge of who he has been in contact with.
The last confirmed sighting of him was on Blenheim Road in Minehead at 10am on October 16.
He may be using a distinctive electric bicycle, a grey Gepida Alboin Curve with a pink front tyre rim, flowers on the rim of the rear tyre, and green and yellow electrical tape around the handlebars.
Scatchard is described as being white, about 5ft 11ins, of average build with short grey hair. He speaks with a Scottish accent and has previously claimed to be called Richard Dunlop.
He is wanted on recall to prison and is also wanted in connection with the murder investigation (Picture: PA)
Ms Aston added: ‘This is a complex investigation and our understanding of what may have happened to Kelly continues to evolve.
‘Our professional standards department has been made aware of the incident and the initial police response to it, and are currently carrying out an assessment.
‘Meanwhile, our absolute priority is to find Scatchard and see if he can assist with our enquiries. Richard, if you see this, please do the right thing and hand yourself in.
‘Our search has focused on the Minehead area, however Scatchard could be anywhere in the country – we know he has recent links to the Cornwall, Gwent and South Wales areas while previous links include the Cheshire and Leicestershire areas.
‘If you can help, please get in touch.’
Anyone who sees Scatchard is asked to ring 999, with the reference 5223251706. People can also provide information by calling 101, or by submitting it through the force’s website.
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Richard Scatchard poses a serious risk to women he forms relationships with.