Gainsborough: Murder probe launched

Police have launched a murder investigation after a man was found dead in a Gainsborough house following a fire on Friday morning.

Police were called to 29 Etherington Street at 10.48am after a report that the body of a 24-year-old local man had been found.

Ivans Zdanovics, who was originally from Latvia, had been discovered dead in the property by a friend.

Police sealed off the house and said the death was being treated as ‘unexplained’.

But on Monday they revealed Ivans’ death was now being treated as murder following a ‘detailed examination’ of the house.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Morrison of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, who is leading the investigation, said a post mortem indicated Ivans died as a result of smoke inhalation.

“I am keen to build up a picture of the lifestyle and movements of Mr Zdanovics,” said Det Supt Morrison.

“We are looking to piece together Ivans’ movements from when he was last seen safe and well at 7pm on Thursday 16th to 11am on Friday 17th January.”

“We have some detail about what he was doing at that time, but it is by no means complete.”

Mr Zdanovics, who lived alone in the rented house on Etherington Street, had been living in the UK for a number of years.

He had a lived in Gainsborough ‘for a while’ and was working as a food factory worker.

“He came here to live a work and make a life for himself,” said Det Supt Morrison.

“He has no family here in the UK, but he does have siblings in Latvia. They are aware of his death and we plan to bring them over to the UK.”

His body was found by a friend who called at the house on Friday morning.

“His friend went to visit. He went into the property. He found Ivans dead and found evidence that there had been a fire in the property,” said Det Supt Morrison.

“That fire hasn’t gutted the property, but the combustion that have caused Ivans death, then for lack of oxygen that fire has self extinguished but not before it was fatal.”

“We don’t know why he has been targeted, but he clearly has been targeted.”

Anyone with information about Mr Zdanovics, who knew him or his movements in that period, should contact Det Supt Morrison on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.