Detectives have published pictures of four people who could hold vital clues to the brutal murder of a Brighton man over the past few days.
The four are not suspects and are pictured in two CCTV images published today by Sussex Police.
They have been published as detectives continue their hunt for the killer of the man who was found battered to death yesterday morning (Friday 15 April).
He has been named by police as Jonathan Ellison, 48.
Mr Ellison, known as Jon to his friends, was found by friends in his flat in Gloucester Street, Brighton, just after 2.10am yesterday.
Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Bowles, of the Sussex Police Major Crime Branch, said: “Jon was by every account a peaceful and vulnerable man and it is terrible that his life has been taken in this brutal way.”
Post-mortem tests, carried out yesterday, confirmed that Mr Ellison died from several substantial head injuries consistent with being struck by a long blunt instrument.
The murder weapon has yet to be identified and traced.
Detectives have been continuing their search of neighbouring streets and premises for the weapon and any other possible evidence.
Mr Ellison also had injuries on his hands which show that he tried to defend himself.
Mr Bowles said: “He was clearly subjected to a most vicious beating some time between about 8pm on Thursday evening and just after 2am on Friday morning.
“These are among the worst deliberate injuries my colleagues and I have ever seen and they further demonstrate how important it is that we find the person or persons responsible as soon as possible.”
There were no signs of forced entry to Mr Ellison’s ground floor flat.
The CCTV images show passers-by who detectives believe may be vital witnesses.
The four people were filmed in St George’s Mews, passing one of the entrances to the Gloucester Street flats, at 10.05pm on Thursday (14 April).
One image shows what appears to be a man and woman, and perhaps a teenage girl with fair hair, walking along St George’s Mews towards the junction with Gloucester Street.
The other image, taken moments later at the same spot, shows a cyclist, believed to be male, riding along St George’s Mews away from Gloucester Street.
Mr Bowles said: “Although it is very difficult to get better descriptions or images from the CCTV, we hope that these people will see them and realise that, without knowing it at the time, they may in fact hold vital information.
“There is no suggestion whatsoever that they are suspects and we ask them to come forward and talk to us in confidence.
“We are still keen to hear from anyone else who was in or around Gloucester Street in the North Laine area of the city centre on Thursday evening or the early hours of Friday morning and who saw anything suspicious.
“We would also like to hear from people in the city who knew Jon and can help us build up the picture of his life, all of which had been spent in the area.”
Anyone who can help is asked to contact Sussex Police on 0845 6070999 or to call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.