Latest News

Asylum seeker befriends elderly couple before stealing their money and killing them

By Mason White 6:04 PM April 2, 2017
Ali Qazimaj
Ali Qazimaj
By: Mason White

An asylum seeker who had a problem with gambling, befriended an elderly rich couple before stealing their money and killing them, according to police in the United Kingdom.

Now, the killer has been sentenced to serve life in prison.

He will have to serve a minimum of 35 years before being eligible for parole. He was found guilty of the murder of Peter Stuart, 75, and Sylvia Stuart, 69.

Ali Qazimaj, also known as Vital Dapi and Marco Costa, who is believed to be either 43 or 44 years old, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing after being found guilty of the murders.

According to the criminal complaint, around 7:15 a.m. one Friday, police received a call from the daughter of Peter and Sylvia Stuart, reporting concern for her parents who had not been for several days.

She had been unable to get in touch with them, and had already asked friends and neighbors, and checked local hospitals to try to locate them.

Officers attended their home address in Mill Lane, Weybread, near Diss, and confirmed that the couple’s vehicle was at the property.

This immediately raised concerns and police began enquiries to try and find them. By midday, police were very concerned.

Initial checks had been carried out and it was quickly confirmed that it was extremely out of character for Peter, 75, and Sylvia, 69, not have been in touch with anyone and not to have attended the social events that they would usually have gone to without notifying anyone that they wouldn’t be there.

DCI Andy Guy from the joint Suffolk and Norfolk Major Investigation Team became involved when the duty senior officer for the day flagged the incident to him, and he would take on the enquiry.

He headed to the Stuart’s home.

During the afternoon, a full search was started at the premises, with qualified search officers beginning in the home and working out from there.

Meanwhile, further enquiries were being made to see if there had been any sightings of Peter or Sylvia.

As the afternoon progressed, it became apparent that this would be a significant investigation, and at 6:30 p.m., police announced that they feared the couple may have been victims of crime.

Then police made a discovery, the body of Peter Stuart in woodland just a short distance from the back of his home. He had sustained multiple stab wounds and had been wrapped in a piece of garden material.

The area was cordoned off for a forensic examination. Work continued to try to locate Sylvia Stuart. Searches continued and officers began looking into the couple’s life, background and possible movements.

In particular, the enquiries looked at the use of Sylvia’s cash card in Grays in Essex. Ali Qazimaj then came up on the police radar.

He was said to be a carer for a family member.

Police began work to find out more about him and quickly became suspicious that he may have some involvement in the case.

Police were convinced there was sufficient to make Qazimaj a suspect.

In the meantime, police forces across the country had been put on alert to find him and his vehicle, and police in Kent reported finding his car close to the port of Dover.

Suffolk officers waited while Kent police opened the boot of the car, knowing there was a possibility Sylvia might be inside. She wasn’t, but the vehicle was seized for forensic examination.

This yielded vital DNA evidence, linking Qazimaj to both Peter and Sylvia.

More checks quickly revealed that Qazimaj had boarded a ferry from Dover just hours after publicity had started around the Stuart’s disappearance, adding more suspicion that he had some involvement.

Police issued a wanted appeal to trace him, issuing his photograph to the media with an appeal for anyone with information about him or the couple – and particularly Sylvia’s whereabouts – to come forward.

It was known he had fled into Europe, but there was no indication as to where he was heading. Police began looking at the most obvious options.

Police in Luxembourg, were contacted about a man, thought to be Qazimaj, at a hostel in Luxembourg City.

A member of staff working at a hostel identified Qazimaj through photographs of him on the Internet and then alerted authorities who detained him.

He immediately began disputing that he was the man police in Suffolk were looking for.

Detectives from Suffolk, continued to work with the National Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service and authorities in Luxembourg to seek his extradition.

It was a ploy that continued right through the court case.

Suffolk Police initially had to satisfy authorities in Luxembourg that he was the suspect. Fingerprints held on file from the U.K., due to a previous arrest in Essex, were sent to Luxembourg.

These matched.

Further work had to be done, but in due course, it was accepted that he was the man that was sought and he was brought back to the U.K.

Investigators learned that Qazimaj first came to the U.K. from Kosovo. He was then granted asylum. Qazimaj had a problem with gambling.

He then befriended the elderly couple and borrowed a lot of money from them.

Qazimaj then tried to convince the couple to sell their home so he could put his hands on the cash, and when they refused, he killed them.