Murder inquiry as couple found dead at Rowley Regis home

A murder investigation has been launched after the bodies of a husband and wife were found in their Black Country home.

A forensic officer outside a property in Bryan Budd Close, Rowley Regis
A forensic officer at the house

Police today said they were not looking for anyone in connection with the deaths of the couple.

The husband and wife were named locally as Ken and Jane McRay.

Officers were called to Bryan Budd Close, Rowley Regis, yesterday after Mr McRay’s work colleagues became concerned.

Detectives arrived at the three-storey semi-detached house and immediately made enquiries with neighbours.

Neighbours today confirmed the couple had not been seen for up to a week.

Police, who were called around 10am, used a battering ram to break down the door only to make the grim discovery a short time later.

A 55-year-old woman was found with head injuries and a 52-year-old man was found with neck and wrist injuries.

The couple were pronounced dead at the scene. Forensic teams were brought in and post mortems will be conducted today to establish causes of death.

“We want to reassure the local community that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this case,” said Detective Inspector Derek Packham.

“The families of the couple have been informed and we will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding their deaths.”

Neighbours today spoke of their shock over the deaths. Richard Hodgetts, a father of three, said: “It is so sad. They were a very quiet couple. Nobody around here knew them and they kept themselves to themselves.”

One neighbour who lived opposite the scene said: “It’s just strange really, you don’t expect it to happen in your area. We didn’t really know them that well because they were quite reserved. We only knew them to say hello to.”

Retired mother of two Avril Cowdell, aged 69, said: “I got back from shopping, and the police were all in the street and they asked me if I had seen them in recently. I told them about a week ago and I thought they had been on holiday as they like to go away a lot. There was a light on in the bedroom which I had thought was a bit odd.”

Hairdresser Rachel Hipkiss, who lives nearby in Bryan Budd Close, said she had never spoken to the couple who have died but she had often seen Mr McRay coming back from running and his wife was keen on gardening.