Somebody knows something about M54 murder, says expert

A man whose body was found at a Shropshire motorway junction was likely to have been murdered by somebody he knew in an act of revenge, an expert has said.

Mystery – Surjit Takhar
Mystery – Surjit Takhar

Professor Elizabeth Yardley, an expert in criminology at Birmingham City University, also said that there would be somebody in the community who knew the identity of Surjit Takhar's killer.

"Someone knows something, someone always knows something," she said.

She added that the time that has lapsed since Mr Takhar's death could yet lead to more information becoming available.

Mr Takhar's remains were discovered by motorway workers close to junction four of the M54 near Shifnal in August 2015.

But despite the discovery, and the arrest of two men and a woman in December 2017, nobody has been charged with his death.

The former delivery driver, from Oldbury, in the Black Country, went missing nearly 11 years ago.

Shortly before his disappearance, he had called 999 after being spooked by a visit to his home.

Mr Takhar is said to have lived a 'chaotic' life in the months up until his death, and is said to have owed people money.

Prof Yardley said she believed Mr Takhar would have known his assailant.

"In some cases – and I think this is relevant to Surjit's death – victim and offender are known to each other and the homicide is not a one-off event but the culmination of an ongoing dispute.

"These homicides are planned attacks where the perpetrator, or perpetrators, kill the victim in response to some perceived wrongdoing, there is and established history of conflict.

"The owing of money is a common factor in the background of these homicides, as are perceived slights against the perpetrator or a third party known to the perpetrator."

Prof Yardley said such killings often take place some time after the offender has decided to commit the crime. During that time, the killer will sometimes share their intentions with others.

She added: "Surjit's death is recent enough for people to still have memories of these kind of conversations.

"Time is often an important factor in unsolved homicides.

"At the time, people may have loyalties and fears that prevent them from disclosing information.

"However, in the time that has passed, allegiances and loyalties may have changed."

Det Insp Jim Munro said West Midlands Police was still actively investigating the murder.

Anyone with information surrounding Mr Takhar's death should contact police on 0121 626 5000.

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