Essex police reportedly reviewing deaths of fentanyl killer’s father and grandfather

<span>In March Luke D’Wit was jailed for a minimum term of 37 years for poisoning Stephen and Carol Baxter with fentanyl at their home in West Mersea.</span><span>Photograph: Essex Police/PA</span>
In March Luke D’Wit was jailed for a minimum term of 37 years for poisoning Stephen and Carol Baxter with fentanyl at their home in West Mersea.Photograph: Essex Police/PA

Police are reportedly investigating whether a man convicted of murdering a married couple last year with fentanyl may have previously killed his father and grandfather.

In March Luke D’Wit was jailed for a minimum of 37 years for poisoning Stephen and Carol Baxter with the synthetic opioid painkiller at their home in West Mersea, Essex, on Easter Sunday in 2023. He amended the couple’s will the next day to make himself a director of the company they ran.

Essex police have not denied a report by the BBC that detectives are reviewing whether D’Wit may have also killed his father, who died in 2021, and his grandfather, without detection.

In a statement the force said: “Up to the conviction and sentence of Luke D’Wit, our determined focus has been securing justice in relation to the murders of Carol and Stephen. As with any investigation of this magnitude, everything we have uncovered is being reviewed and should anything suggest this has been the case we will not hesitate to act.”

At the time of D’Wit’s conviction, Det Supt Rob Kirby, who was in charge of the investigation, noted that he “went to great lengths to cover up his tracks. He deceived everyone who knew him.” He also could not rule out the possibility that D’Wit had killed other people without detection.

During the trial, Chelmsford crown court heard D’Wit had extracted large quantities of fentanyl from a painkiller patch originally prescribed to his father.

In his sentencing remarks, the judge, Mr Justice Lavender, said D’Wit “made some attempts to secure an indirect gain” for himself, but it was “distinctly possible that what really motivated you was a desire to control others”.

The court heard that D’Wit had befriended the Baxters over the course of several years and began creating a series of fake online personas to manipulate them in 2021.

These included a doctor from Florida he called Andrea Bowden and several members of a fictitious support group for Hashimoto’s, a thyroid condition that Carol Baxter had. D’Wit also drugged Carol Baxter, causing her to appear as if she had dementia or had suffered a stroke, the jury was told.