POLICE have provisionally named the victim of a murder which took place in Castle Park this morning.

James Attfield, 33, of East Bay, Colchester was found by a member of the public with serious injuries to his upper body, including his head and hand in the park just before 5.45am on Saturday.

Paramedics were called to the scene but sadly Mr Attfield, also known as Jim, died shortly after.

A post-mortem examination is expected to take place on Sunday.

A cordon remains in place on an area 1.5 miles long between Wakefield Close and Riverside Place, covering a footpath and a greensward.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are working to piece together the final hours of Jim’s life.

Police are also seeking information about a man who was seen walking along East Hill at 5.30am on Saturday.

Senior investigating officer DCI Simon Werrett said: "Castle Park is used at all hours of the day and night and I’m sure someone will have seen something.

“I really need to hear from anyone who saw anybody acting suspiciously in the park, anyone who heard anything untoward, or anyone who thinks they may know who is responsible for Jim’s death.

"Equally I would invite the person or people responsible to hand themselves in.

“We have not yet been able to establish a motive for this violent attack during which we believe a bladed weapon has been used.

“Until the post-mortem examination has been carried out I am unable to say what that weapon may have been or to elaborate on the injuries caused.”

Superintendent Steve Ditchburn has organised an increased police presence in the town centre this evening to reassure the public and assist with the investigation.

"We remain concerned that we have not yet been able to trace the person or people responsible for this death,” he said.

"I hope residents will take some reassurance from the increased presence today which will be continuing throughout the evening and as long as is necessary, but I am aware that this incident will be causing some to worry.

"I would ask people to remain vigilant and to contact us if they see anything suspicious.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the North Major Investigation Team on 01206 576845, Essex police on 101 or Crimestopper anonymously on 0800 555111.