United Kingdom

Pictured: Family man, 29, whose body was found dumped in countryside as detectives hunt his killers 

Pictured: Rhys Thompson who was found dead in Calderdale last Friday sparking a murder investigation

The heartbroken family of a young man whose body was found dumped in the Calderdale countryside have paid tribute to their 'beloved' son.

Rhys Thompson, 29, was found dead last Friday, May 14, on land in Rishworth at around 6.40am.

Greater Manchester Police and West Yorkshire Police have launched a murder investigation and detectives at GMP have so far arrested four men.

The suspects have since been released under investigation.

Rhys' family, who are being supported by specially trained officers, have today paid tribute, describing him as having 'the biggest heart'.

In a statement, they said: 'Our beloved son, Rhys Thompson, was our everything. A sweet, funny, warm-hearted man, a fantastic brother, devoted father, loving boyfriend and respectful loyal friend.

'Rhys had the biggest heart and loved his family and friends dearly. He would always help when he could, he was a beautiful soul. We all miss him terribly; he did not deserve to be taken so soon.

'We are heartbroken; his loss will change our lives forever. We cannot imagine a future without him.'

Rhys died from a serious head injury thought to have been caused by a weapon.

The investigation is being led by GMP's Major Incident Team, with the main line of enquiry being centred around a 'disturbance' that happened at 3.40am in Crumpsall, Greater Manchester, on the same day Rhys' body was discovered.

It is believed Rhys, who was from Moss Side, and three friends were involved in a disturbance with another group of men before his body was found three hours later.

Police forensic investigators on the scene where Rhys Thompson's body was found last Friday

A post-mortem has established he died of serious head injuries caused by a weapon, and that this is likely to have happened in the Greater Manchester area.

Detectives have said extensive enquiries, including meticulous combing of CCTV, is ongoing and a dedicated incident portal has been formed for anyone with information, images or video content to upload as part of the investigation.

Investigators are particularly interested to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard a disturbance in the Crumpsall area or near Pike End Road, Rishworth, in the early hours of Friday morning.

Superintendent Helen Critchley, of GMP's City of Manchester division, said: 'This is a seriously complex investigation which involves detectives pursuing several lines of enquiry and we are making sure that we are doing all we can to get answers for Rhys's family.

'It is absolutely vital that anyone with even the slightest bit of information contacts police, particularly for members of the public in the Crumpsall area that may have heard a disturbance in the early hours of Friday morning.

'This is believed to have pertinent links to the ultimate discovery of Rhys's body a few hours later in Rishworth.

'There has been an increase in police presence in the Moss Side and Crumpsall areas since this fatal attack and this will continue to take place to reassure the community.

'All our thoughts are with Rhys's family at this extremely difficult time and we are doing all we can to get them the answers as to how their loved one was so tragically taken from them.'

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 4815 quoting Operation Linnett.

Details can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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