DETECTIVES are launching a new appeal to solve a historic Colchester murder.

For the first time, a £2,000 reward is being offered for information regarding the case.

Grant Byrom was killed in Forest Road, Greenstead, on Boxing Day, 1998.

The chief suspect has been on the run ever since.

Acting Det Chief Insp Anne Cameron is leading the investigation.

She said: “Grant’s family were devastated by his death and each year there are constant reminders at family events from which he is missing.

“He would have been so proud to become a grandfather and be at his grandson’s first birthday party, but for nearly 16 years the family has had to grow up without him.

“They are determined to see justice done and have called on anyone with information to call Essex Police.”

The main suspect is Michael Donnelly, now aged 67, who lived in Colchester at the time.

He is believed to have fled to Spain following the murder.

Ms Cameron said: “Mr Donnelly is wanted in connection with the murder investigation, but police have never been able to find him to talk to him about his version of events on that evening in 1998. We have made regular enquiries to trace Mr Donnelly and we are certain he no longer lives in the UK.

“We want to hear from anyone who has any information about Mr Donnelly’s whereabouts. I am also very keen to hear from anyone who may have further information about the murder of Mr Byrom.”

The appeal was launched on the first birthday of his grandson Tyler.

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