Detectives investigating the deaths of Noel Brown, 69, and Marie Brown, 41, in Deptford, say they retain an open mind regarding the motive – despite news emerging of his sex convictions dating back to the Nineties.
Scotland Yard also said today they believe it is a “strong possibility” daughter Marie disturbed the attackers as they attempted to dismember his body.
In a statement the Metropolitan Police confirmed to MirrorOnline: “Noel Brown was a Registered Sex Offender and was convicted of sexual offences in 1999.
“Detectives retain an open mind regarding motive.”
Mr Brown and his only daughter were found strangled at his flat in Deptford, south-east London, at about 2.45am on Monday after police responded to a welfare concern.
Police are trying to establish why they were killed but Detective Superintendent Paul Monk said Mr Brown’s conviction in 1999 for a sex offence, for which he served four years in prison, was not “screaming out” as a motive.
He said “nothing” had happened in Mr Brown’s life in the 18 years since the conviction to suggest that was the reason for the murder.
Mr Monk said: “The offence was a sex offence, he was convicted and served time and was released in 2004 but I’m not prepared to give any more details.”
Scotland Yard had earlier said there were no signs of a forced entry, suggesting the suspects were known to Noel and Marie disturbed them.
Rumours suggested that Mr Brown, known to frequent local betting shops in the area may have been targeted after landing a big win.
But detectives say there is “no evidence” to suggest that was the case.
Mr Brown was last seen alive at 8pm last Thursday, November 30th, and his daughter, who lived just over two miles away in Peckham, was last seen when she went to check on him at midday on Saturday.
Police were called at 12.30am on Monday when she failed to return to her home in nearby Peckham, and officers forced entry to Noel’s home at 2.45am.
Detective Superintendent Paul Monk, who is overseeing the investigation into their murders, said: “I am asking for the public’s help as part of our investigation into the murder of Noel and his daughter Marie.
“We know that Noel was last seen alive and well at his home by a neighbour at about 20:00hrs on Thursday, 30 November.
“Marie, having grown increasingly anxious about her Dad’s well-being, went to visit him at about midday on Saturday, December 2nd. That is the last sighting of Marie alive.
“Our investigation is fast moving and making progress every day. I want to reassure people that we are doing all we can to find those responsible for the murders of Noel and Marie.”
He added: “I am asking the public to help us with any information they may have that could assist our investigation – specifically about two men who visited Noel’s flat in the days prior to his death. If that was you, or you know who it was, please get in contact with us.
“At this early stage we are keeping an open mind regarding the motive, however it was clear to the responding officers that there were no signs of forced entry to the property.
“One of our key lines of inquiry is to establish if the suspects or suspects were known to Noel and if Marie disturbed them.”
Officers continue to comb the scene for evidence and collect CCTV, and family liaison officers are supporting the family.
Det Supt Monk said post-mortems carried out at Greenwich Mortuary on Tuesday and Wednesday confirmed that both Noel and Marie died as a result of strangulation.
He added: “One of the key strands of our investigation is understanding all we can about Noel’s life. He was well known and liked locally.
“We know that Noel used to go to his local betting shop, Paddy Power, in Deptford High Street and had in fact been there during the day he was last seen alive on 30 November.
“There has been speculation that his murder was as a result of a large gambling win, however at this time there is no evidence to suggest this was the case.
“I am keen to hear from anyone who saw Noel in the days leading up to his death or saw anyone or anything unusual in or around New Butt Lane, SE8 during that time.
“This is a deeply distressing time for Noel and Marie’s family as they come to terms with their loss.”