'Cold Case' Detectives Launch Review Of John Luper Murder, Leeds.
Specialist ‘cold case’ detectives have launched a detailed review of the murder of a Leeds businessman who died during a robbery at his home 13 years ago today.
Officers from West Yorkshire Police’s Major Investigation Review Team are now overseeing the investigation into the murder of John Luper, who was 57 years old when he was killed at his home in Sandmoor Drive, Alwoodley, on February 17, 2004.
They will undertake a full review of all the available evidence with a particular emphasis on advances in forensic science that could bring new lines of enquiry from existing material.
Mr Luper was attacked by a group of four or five masked men as he walked his dog near his neighbour’s driveway at about 11.30pm on February 16 before being dragged back to his home.
His wife, daughter and the family’s au pair were tied up with duct tape and left in an upstairs bedroom before the suspects left the property.
When they managed to free themselves, they found Mr Luper unconscious on the morning room floor.
Police were called at 1.45am and despite attempts to resuscitate him he was pronounced dead at the scene. A post mortem examination showed he died as a result of asphyxiation.
Jewellery and cash totalling around £100,000 were taken during the robbery. Among the pieces of jewellery was a rare Cartier watch that was platinum with vertical rows of diamonds either side of the face.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dunkerley, who heads the Major Investigation Review Team, said: "The murder of John Luper during a robbery at his home was a crime that shocked the community and left his family absolutely devastated.
"Although thirteen years have now passed we remain fully committed to doing everything we can to bring his killers to justice and get his family the answers they need.
"Bringing the case into the remit of the Major Investigation Review Team will see it undergo a full and comprehensive review of all the available evidence.
"This will allow us to re-examine and explore every available avenue that could potentially give us news lines of enquiry. One of the major strands of the review process will be on the forensic evidence gathered from the scene.
"There have been significant developments in forensic techniques over the years and we will be checking if any of those can provide new opportunities to progress the investigation.
"At the same time we continue to appeal for anyone with information about the incident. We are still convinced that there will be people out there, most likely in the criminal fraternity, who know who was involved in the murder.
"Allegiances often change over time and it could be that someone is in a better position now to pass on what they know, either direct to us or anonymously via Crimestoppers."
Anyone with information is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police's Homicide and Major Enquiry Team via 101. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
John Luper's brother Toby Luper said: "As a family, we are pleased to hear that the West Yorkshire Police’s determination like our own, has not diminished over the years and are continuing in their efforts to trace John’s murderers.
"The appointment of a new specialist investigative team is most encouraging and that they are going to re-examine all the evidence that they have accumulated over the period. The fact that they are going to re-examine the DNA collected from the scene of the crime, by availing themselves of the latest DNA technology which has moved on considerably within the last 13 years, is most welcome.
"You read in the media, all the time, that 'old' criminal cases are regularly solved by technical advances being made in the field of DNA and I am confident that one day John’s murderers will be brought to justice through this method too. We would like to appeal to anyone with the slightest bit of information that they might have in relation to this case to contact the police."