Ex-convict detained for Cotton Tree beheading

By Michelle Sutherland
Staff Reporter

A Cotton Tree man was brutally murdered this week in gruesome fashion, stabbed as many as 28 times and decapitated. His severed head was left under a bus shed in Harmonyville and discovered on Wednesday morning. Police now reportedly have one person detained for the shocking murder and say the suspect is an ex-convict with a violent history.

The deceased was identified as Hilton Wade, 56, a Cotton tree resident who was reportedly mentally ill. Wade’s head was found by a shocked villager who was on his way to work when he made the ghastly discovery at the bus shed near mile 44 on the George Price highway. Wade’s head was found wrapped in a black plastic bag.

Officers that responded to the scene recognized Wade and went to search his last known place of residence, where cops found his mutilated body about 20 yards behind an abandoned house, which had also been set on fire.
Head found 2
On Thursday, a police source told the Reporter that the suspect is expected to be charged soon, pending a directive from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution. The Reporter also understands that a search of the suspect’s home yielded evidence crucial to the investigation.

Additionally, a machete thought to be the suspected murder weapon was recovered by police and has been sent for forensic testing.
While the suspect has not been charged, police sources tell the Reporter that he was recently released from prison after serving time for another violent crime.

Wade reportedly lived alone in the abandoned house for some time and claimed the house was his. Residents in the area, however, say the property belongs to a Chinese businessman who allegedly warned Wade to move off the property.

Crime Investigation Branch Commander, ASP Alejandro Cowo told the media this week that police have contacted the Lands Department to confirm the name of the property owner.

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