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Detectives are continuing to investigate the murder of Liam Smith which happened in Wigan 2 months ago and are renewing the appeal by releasing images of a car that we are keen to locate.
Liam’s body was sadly discovered on Kilburn Drive in Wigan on the evening of Thursday 24 November 2022, after he was subject to a fatal gunshot wound and an acid attack.
Michael Hillier (25/02/1984) of Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, has been charged with murder and appeared at Tameside Magistrates Court today (24/01/2023)
Detective Chief Inspector Gina Brennand, of GMP's Major Incident Team said: "We’ve been working tirelessly ever since to build a full and comprehensive picture of what happened in the events leading up to Liam’s death.
"We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who has information about a car used.
"It was a Mitsubishi Shogun Elegance model in dark grey that was manufactured around 2005 or 2006.
"From extensive CCTV, doorbell and dashcam enquiries, the car is known to have displayed at least two different registration plates and has been seen close to Liam’s house on the 2nd November on registration plates EJ57UPE and again on the 24th November, for 10 hours leading up to the night of the murder, with the distinctive registration plate R22 ORA.
"The true keepers of these number plates have no connection to this investigation.
"The car has clear linear damage to the near rear side behind the rear wheel arch and a lens missing on the front offside fog light. It's true plates are unknown at this time.
"The car also had a hi vis workers jacket draped over the driver’s seat.
"We need any information on the whereabouts of this vehicle, which has still not been found. Who it was bought from and whether it has been sold recently and also whether it has been in a garage for any repairs, or recently scrapped. This may hold the missing information that we need to find answers for Liam’s family.
"We’ve arrested 3 people, one of whom was charged with murder last night, and conducted numerous house and premises searches in neighbouring counties in a specific day of action. This complex and wide-ranging investigation continues relentlessly.
"I would urge people who have any information and are withholding this from police to think of the pain that Liam’s loved ones continue to feel every day and ask that they come forward by contacting police on 101 or by using the major incident public portal link to submit video and images directly to us, or by contacting Crimestoppers."
In tribute to Liam, his family said: "Four weeks before Christmas - in the early evening of Thursday 24th November 2022- Liam Smith, a 38 year old man, was at home alone on one of the very rare occasions he wasn't with his children - 2 boys aged 15 and 11, upon whom he loved unconditionally.
"Not only was Liam a devoted father, but he was also a dearly loved, Son, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Grandson and Friend.
"Liam's savage murder at his home address has sent complete shock waves of grief and despair amongst everyone who knew and loved him.
"Two young boys will now have to spend the rest of their lives without their adoring father, and the rest of our family will be forever haunted by this senseless act.
"Liam worked and grafted hard as he could an Electrician to give his boys the best start in life he could possibly give.
"We are doing this, not only to seek justice for Liam & his boys, but to protect any other family from going through the immense loss & suffering that we have.
"What happened to Liam could be anyone's Dad, Son, Brother, Grandson, Cousin or Friend...
"We are therefore sending out a heartfelt plea to anyone with any information to please, please contact the Police. This can be done anonymously.
"Anyone withholding information about what has happened, have clearly not witnessed the devastation such a heinous crime has on a family like it has done with mine.
"Liam's life wasn't the only one destroyed that night, so many other lives have been devastated by his murder.
"Our family cannot come to terms with this tragic killing of Liam until justice is served & we receive answers.