A £50,000 reward has been offered to find the killers of a young father whose body was dumped in a reservoir.
Craig Wilcox, 28, from Failsworth in Greater Manchester, was last seen alive at his parents’ home on January 6, 2014.
His body was recovered from Dovestone Reservoir in Saddleworth, 10 miles away, on February 24 that year.
The body of Craig Wilcox was recovered from Dovestone Reservoir in Saddleworth (Picture: PA)His parents Carolyn and Stephen have appealed for anyone with information to come forward, five years on from the discovery of his body.
His father said: ‘There is a close circle of people who know what’s happened. And none of them have come forward yet.
‘They have kept the information to themselves from five years ago and hopefully this might just unlock somebody’s conscience.’
Detectives investigating his death believe Mr Wilcox travelled towards Oldham town centre on the night of January 6 and arrived in the Dovestone area at about 10.10pm.
After his disappearance, officers learnt he had confided in a friend that he feared for his safety.
A post-mortem examination was carried out but the result was inconclusive.
Mr and Mrs Wilcox said their grandson, now 11, is having to grow up without a father.
Mr Wilcox said: ‘There isn’t a day goes by that we don’t think about Craig. It’s very hard when you get all the milestones: Christmas, birthdays.
‘It’s hard for his sister as well, it’s hard for his brother, it’s hard for his son.
‘His son’s birthday, what do we tell him? He will never see his dad again.’
Stephen and Carolyn Wilcox speak on the fifth anniversary of their son’s murder (Picture: MEN)One theory police are working on is that Craig was killed after gangsters wrongly believed he had double crossed them.
Before his death, it is said he had been made to look after small-scale cannabis farms by criminals active in Oldham and Newton Heath.
But when thieves swiped the stash in one of the houses, it’s believed Craig was blamed for it.
‘We’re not blind to the fact that Craig was involved in something he shouldn’t have been,’ his father Stephen said.
‘We’re not ignoring that fact. But it’s still so disproportionate what has happened to him, in comparison to what he was actually involved with.
‘There are people who may read this who think “well, he was a drug dealer”.
‘Craig was no big time drugs king. He was a low level plant waterer who was doing it for some money.
‘And that was it. That was the extent of his involvement.
‘I don’t think he saw too much harm in it. I certainly don’t think he looked at the big picture.’
Dovestone Reservoir, near Oldham, where the body of Craig Wilcox was found (Picture: MEN)Announcing the £50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for Mr Wilcox’s death, Detective Chief Inspector Terry Crompton said: ‘It is now five years since Craig’s body was found and his parents continue to endure the agony of not knowing how he came to die.
‘While the post-mortem examination didn’t give us clear answers, we sadly believe there is someone out there responsible for his death.
‘We are committed to finding his family the answers they deserve and hope, with the life-changing £50,000, we’ll get information leading to the conviction of those responsible for his death.
‘We believe there are people out there who know what happened to Craig, or have important information that may help us pursue a prosecution.
‘I’d like to appeal to people who know what happened to Craig or have important information that may help us pursue a prosecution: we are ready to listen to whatever information you have, and are prepared to offer a significant quantity of money if that information leads us to catch Craig’s killer.’
Anyone with information on Craig’s death is asked to call the Greater Manchester Police Major Incident Room on 0161 856 4711, or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.