In a new twist to the mystery surrounding the murder of Indian-origin businessman Avtar Kolar and his English wife Carole in their Birmingham home three weeks ago, a man charged with their killings has been found dead in his prison cell.
The alleged suspect, 37-year-old Lithuanian Rimvydas Liorancas, was found hanging in his cell on Saturday and attempts to resuscitate him failed, according to prison authorities.
“As with all deaths in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation,” a spokesman said.
Liorancas was the only man charged with the double murder that sent shockwaves through Birmingham's Indian community and was due to appear in court soon.
Police said the investigation into the case would continue.
The couple's family, who were informed of the alleged suspect's death, appealed to the media to be left alone.
“We understand the investigation into our parents' deaths will continue and the findings be presented to the coroner. We ask that we be left alone as we continue to grieve over the deaths of our mum and dad,” they said.
Kolar (62) and Carole Kolar (58) had been married for 40 years and lived in the tree-lined Friary Road, Handsworth Wood, for most of their lives.
Their bodies were found by their son Jason, a serving police officer, when he went round to their house on the morning of January 11 after failing to reach them on phone.
Police said they were beaten to death with a “lump hammer.” Post-mortem examinations revealed that both died as a result of blunt-force trauma to the head.
Kolar, locally known as Tari, had worked as a florist while Carole Kolar worked at a school-care centre looking after children, including her own grandchildren who went to the same school.
The couple, who had four children and eight grandchildren, were described as a “close-knit” and “loving family”.
Their daughter, Michelle Kirwan (39), broke down describing her parents as “the sweetest and kindest people I have ever met.”
Police were looking at all potential angles, including the possibility they might have been victims of a random break-in that went wrong.
A number of items were reportedly stolen but police did not give details.
Suggestions that it could have been a revenge attack by someone with a grievance against Jason have been rejected by detectives investigating the case.