British man arrested after partner found murdered at Italian home

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British man arrested after partner found murdered at Italian home
The town of Casoli, near Chieti in the Italian region of Abruzzo, is home to a community of around 100 British residents who have renovated homes in the area. Photo by sterlinglanier Lanier on Unsplash

Police in England arrested a 74-year-old man on Thursday afternoon after his partner was found stabbed to death at their home in Casoli, Abruzzo.


Michael Dennis Whitbread, a 74-year-old retired former IT consultant, was stopped by police in Shepshed, Leicestershire, after Italian authorities launched an international manhunt following the murder of his partner, reported Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper on Thursday.

The body of the 66-year-old woman, named by sources close to her as Michele Dawn Faiers, was found by a friend in a pool of blood at the Italian home she had moved to with Whitbread several years earlier.

Leicestershire police said a 74-year-old man was in custody after being arrested on Wednesday evening.

Police did not name the suspect, but said detectives were in contact with Italian police and the Foreign Office.

Italian police began searching for Whitbread on Wednesday after finding he was missing following the discovery. He is believed to have left Italy in his white Jeep Compass, which was reportedly seen driving out of Casoli several days earlier.

Faiers had died four or five days before she was found from multiple stab wounds to the abdomen, police said on Wednesday.

The friend who found Faiers had visited her home from the nearby town of Palombaro on Wednesday morning after she had not answered her phone for several days.

She entered the house when she saw the keys were still in the front door and discovered Faiers in a first-floor bedroom, reports said.

The police were called after neighbours heard the friend screaming for help. 

“We are very sorry about what happened,” Massimo Tiberini, the mayor of Casoli, told Italian news agency La Presse on Thursday. “We are concerned… the police are continuing with their investigations.”


The couple had been living in the countryside near the Abruzzo village for about three years, Italian media reported.

Neighbours described them as "reserved" and said they only spoke English, but said they were often seen walking their dogs in the area, according to La Repubblica.

There is a community of around 100 British nationals who have renovated homes in Palombara, which has a population of around 1,000.

Faiers had documented her new life in Abruzzo, central Italy, on her Instagram page.


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