Sutton Hoo volunteer couple found dead in 'murder suicide' at £500k listed townhouse

Hayley Dixon
·3-min read
Officers spent the night standing guard outside the semi-detached 18th century home close to the centre of Woodbridge - East Anglia News Service
Officers spent the night standing guard outside the semi-detached 18th century home close to the centre of Woodbridge - East Anglia News Service

A couple who volunteered at Sutton Hoo have been found dead in their listed townhouse in what police are treating as a suspected murder suicide. 

Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths of the couple, named locally Jonathan and Sally Metcalf, who were found dead in their 18th century home in Woodbridge, in Suffolk on Saturday night.

Post mortems carried out on Sunday concluded that Mrs Metcalf who was aged in her 60s died of compression of the neck while her husband died as a result of hanging.

Suffolk Police said that her death was being treated as murder and his death was not being thought to be suspicious.

A Suffolk Police statement added: “Formal identification procedures in respect of both parties have not yet taken place.

“The investigation into the deaths continues, but detectives do not believe that there is anyone else involved with this incident.

“A police scene remains in place at the property, but there is no threat to the wider community.”

Mrs Metcalf, 68 and her 72-year-old husband worked as National Trust volunteers at the Sutton Hoo ship burial site and on the Trust website Mrs Metcalf is described as the "much loved mother hen of Sutton Hoo".

Clare Perkins, a former mayor of Woodbridge, said: "They were just beautiful people and were always ready with a smile and kind words. It is just tragic. She worked so hard at Sutton Hoo and was always willing to help people."

Emergency services were alerted at around 6.15pm on Saturday.

 Mrs Metcalf was described as the
Mrs Metcalf was described as the "much loved mother hen of Sutton Hoo" - East Anglia News Service

One local resident said that in recent days it had been "quite strange seeing their blinds closed because their windows were normally open to see in", adding: "Now I am kicking myself thinking that I should have followed my gut feeling and done something a couple of days ago."

The couple have lived in the £500,000 Grade II listed semi-detached home since moving to the area from Bristol 2008.

James Lightfoot, the chairman of the Choose Woodbridge business and tourism association, said: "They were a really nice, unassuming and seemingly contented couple."

Mrs Metcalf worked as voluntary Volunteer Manager at Sutton Hoo where an 86ft long Anglo Saxon burial ship was found beside the River Deben in 1939.

Her husband was said to have been a ranger at the site.

In an interview on the Trust website, she said: "I find people fascinating. I enjoy being around them and trying to help them in any way I can - I get a lot of joy out of it.”

She volunteered full time and had spent a decade at the site, having previously volunteered for the Trust at Tyntesfield.

A spokesman for the Trust said that they “have been left deeply saddened by the news” involving two of their volunteers.

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