Detectives hunting killer of Wellingborough man need ‘one piece of crucial evidence’

Lonsdale shoe identical to the one police believe was worn by Mr Varga's killing
Lonsdale shoe identical to the one police believe was worn by Mr Varga's killing

One piece of crucial evidence is still needed to identify the killer of Karoly Varga who was murdered in his Northamptonshire home four years ago, police have said.

An appeal is ongoing to find the weapon used in the murder - believed to be a small axe or hatchet-like object - which police believe is likely to contain traces of genetic evidence or distinguishing features that will link it to the killer.

Karoly Varga

Karoly Varga

Only one man, Mr Varga’s former friend Elemer Patakfalvi, was ever charged with the murder, but he was later acquitted when the case against him was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Kinchin, of Northamptonshire Police, said: “We are still looking for crucial evidence to prove the identity of the killer. We remain open-minded and it is still possible that the murder could have been a random act by a stranger.

“We are looking to find the murder weapon and the shoes used by the killer. We believe they were disposed of shortly after the murder, probably thrown over a nearby face and into somebody’s garden. It could be in someone’s shed right now.”

Mr Varga, a Hungarian national known as Charlie, who lived in Wellingborough, had been living in the UK for around 50 years and worked as a property buyer and developer. He was well known for giving support and financial help to the poorer Hungarian community in the local area, despite living a frugal lifestyle himself.

Mr Patakfalvis, also a Hungarian national who lived in Wellingborough and befriended Mr Varga some months before his death, travelled from his home country to give evidence during the inquest to give evidence.

During the proceedings, Mr Varga’s daughter, Rita Groves, asked him: “Did you kill my father?”

He replied: “I have never done anything like that.”

Speaking outside the court, Mrs Groves read out a statement: “It has been a long and difficult process for our family.

“Today I have been able to come along and ask questions about our father who was brutally murdered on July 27, 2011, by someone he let into his home.

“Elemer Patakfalvi was arrested on suspicion of murder for a short time but then freed and as such he remains innocent until proven guilty.

“We remain grateful to the police for their support.”

DCI Kinchin said: “The inquest was about Mr Varga’s family and allowing them the opportunity to ask questions of the witnesses. Questions that may have been troubling them for the past four years.

“We will be pursuing a number of lines of enquiry until we can bring the person responsible for Karoly’s murder to justice.

“We can say with certainty that Mr Varga was killed on the Wednesday, July 27. CCTV footage shows he let a visitor into his home at 12.04 and the front door curtains were drawn shortly after.

“That visitor did not leave through the front door and, from that point, the curtains were not reopened, no lights in the house were turned on, and no telephone calls to the house were answered.

“We are within touching distance of finding the person responsible, but we may not be able to get there without the last pieces of crucial evidence.”

It is believed that the killer used the back door to exit Mr Varga’s house as it was found locked and the keys were missing. Police are looking to locate these keys, the murder weapon, or pair of rare black Lonsdale trainers with grey trim, size seven or eight, which they believe the killer was wearing at the time.

Four years on from the murder a £10,000 reward for information leading to a successful conviction remains on offer.

Anybody with information is urged to contact Northamptonshire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.