Cambridgeshire murder hunt to feature in two-part 24 Hours in Police Custody on Channel 4
A Cambridgeshire murder investigation will be the focus of a two-part TV special next week.
A two-part special of the popular 24 Hours in Police Custody starting on Monday (January 6) will look at the investigation into the murder of Sam Mechelewski, 20, in a secluded wooded area of Hinchingbrooke Country Park, in Huntingdon, on 31 January 31, 2018.
Sam was stabbed and assaulted with a baseball bat. His body, which was later found to have more than 20 separate injuries, was discovered by a dog walker at about 1.30pm the following day.
A complex investigation consumed much of the working lives of many in the Major Crime Unit for a year. There were no witnesses, no CCTV near the offence and little by way of forensics to put anyone at the scene.
Despite extensive searches of the park, including the use of specialist diving teams, the knife used to stab the 20-year-old multiple times was never found, nor was his mobile phone.
Sam had been involved in drug dealing, particularly cannabis, with a notebook found at the scene linking him to Jordan Shepherd, 25, and Ashley White, 22.
Both men were arrested and charged with Sam’s murder, but denied responsibility.
In January 2019, a year on from Sam's death, and after an eight-week trial, including six days of jury deliberations, both men were found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Shepherd, of Mayfly Close, Chatteris is serving a minimum of 28 years and six months and White, of West End, Brampton, was handed a 29 year sentence.
Detective Chief Inspector Adam Gallop said: “This is a powerful programme, depicting an incredibly challenging investigation into an extraordinary crime which was motivated by the cannabis market.
“Jordan Shepherd and Ashley White are dangerous young men, with the proven propensity to commit significant and devastating acts of violence. In the process they have ruined their own lives.
“Many witnesses, some friends of Sam and some not, courageously came forward, for which I and Sam’s family are truly grateful. Those witnesses, many of them young people should be very proud of what they have done.
“Some witnesses did not engage with the investigation, possibly through fear, or through some sense of loyalty to the murderers, others were very challenging to engage with as their minds and memories were ruined by drug abuse.
“Through all these challenges Sam's family remained dignified, determined and patient and were an inspiration for me and the team of officers committed to this investigation. Our deepest sympathies continue to go to them following this tragedy.”
24 Hours in Police Custody: Murder in the woods will be shown on Channel 4 at 9pm on Monday and Tuesday (January 6-7) .
More by this authorAdrian Curtis