Norfolk police release photo of couple who died in macabre A47 incident and hope CCTV garden centre images will jog memories
12:44 24 July 2014
Police have released a photo of the couple who died in a macabre incident on the A47 near Kings Lynn that has left detectives struggling for clues.
CCTV images of the couple calling at a garden centre earlier have also been released to jog the memory of anyone who might have seen them.
Tadas Zaleskas, 26, and his fiancé Nonita Karaievaite, 24, look the perfect couple but on Sunday, shortly after 2.15pm and following an extraordinary barefoot seven mile walk along the A47 from Wisbech, they met their deaths within moments of each other. Police say Tadas, a factory worker at Fenmarc of March, pushed his fiancé into the path of an oncoming Kia- and then either jumped or tumbled to his own death in front of the same car.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Durham appealed for anyone who spotted them in the hours before their death to contact him.
The earliest sighting was at 12.30pm at the Elme Hall Hotel roundabout with the A1101 and A47.
At 1.20pm the couple went into Worzals garden centre at Walpole Highway, off the A47.
“Both of them calmly said ‘call police’” he said. “The lady in the shop went to get help but they walked off.”
“We now believe that prior to her arriving at Worzals, Nonita was wearing black trousers with a black and white patterned round-neck cardigan. She was also wearing yellow-framed designer sunglasses and was barefoot.
“It is thought that when she got to the lay-by on the A47, probably due to the weather, she has taken off her cardigan and rolled up her trousers, which gave them the appearance of leggings.
“A key focus in this inquiry is anyone who may have seen the couple as they made their way along the A47 so, with this new information in mind, I’d been keen to hear from anyone who may have seen a Nonita to come forward.”
Police have also called in forensic experts to search the 1950s detached bungalow that the Lithuanians rented in Church Road, Emneth, near Wisbech.
DCI Durham said that there was “some degree of certainty” that Nonita, also a factory worker but a part time beautician too, was pushed into the path of an oncoming car.
On Wednesday police closed off part of the A47 near Terrington St John where their deaths occurred to recover personal belongings.
The police chief said: “As a result we’ve recovered a number of items which we believe belonged to the couple, including documents, clothing and a pair of glasses.
The couple died after being struck by a Kia at around 2.15pm -Nonita’s death is being treated as suspicious following witness reports that she was forcibly pushed into on-coming traffic.
DCI Durham said it was uncertain how Tadas came to die – he may have jumped or fell in front of the same oncoming car.
“Whether he did it on his own part or stumbled are things we need to deduce,” he said. “But I can say with some degree of certainty he pushed her. What we need to find out is why?”
The police chief said that sightings of the couple from earlier in the day were being gathered.
“They would have posed an unusual sight – the woman wearing a bright pink vest-top and the man in designer-style jean shorts – both walking barefoot along one of our busiest trunk roads on one of the hottest days of the year,” he said.
“We need to find out how and why this tragedy occurred and I would urge anyone who thinks they may have seen them in the area, at any time on Sunday morning, to come forward with information.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Norfolk Police on 101 or alternatively pass information via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.