Police name victim of ‘horrific’ suspected homophobic murder in London cemetery
Police have named Ranjith Kankanamalage, 50, as the victim killed in a suspected homophobic attack in Tower Hamlets, London cemetery.
Emergency services were called to Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park at around 6:30 on 16 August following reports that a man had been found unresponsive. The Metropolitan Police said Kankanamalage was pronounced dead at the scene.
A post-mortem examination found the cause of death was “blunt force trauma to the head”.
Police have said the London cemetery killing is being treated as a homophobic hate crime, but detectives are also keeping an open mind as the investigation continues.
Ranjith Kankanamalage’s family are being supported by specialist officers, according to the Met statement. The family released an image of him as police continue to appeal for anyone who may have information about Kankanamalage’s death to come forward.
Police are also advising locals to “prioritise their personal safety” in the Tower Hamlets area by “being aware of their surroundings, avoiding listening to loud music and avoiding dimly-lit areas where possible”.
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Detective chief superintendent Marcus Barnett, policing commander for Hackney and Tower Hamlets, described Kankanamalage’s death as a “horrific murder” and that his thoughts are with the victim’s family and loved ones.
“Whilst such incidents are thankfully still very rare in London, I want to reassure that community that my officers and specialist detectives are working tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice,” Barnett said. “I also want to be really clear that there is no place, at all, in London for any form of hate crime and the Met is absolutely committed to tackling it and supporting victims.”
Barnett added that a crucial part of the Met’s investigation has been “community support and engagement” especially from LGBT+ organisations which are “assisting my teams in keeping the community updated” during this “difficult time”.
Last week, a 36-year-old man was arrested in connection to the investigation into Ranjith Kankanamalage’s murder, but he was later released on police bail.
Anyone with information about Ranjith Kankanamalage’s death should contact the police on 0208 345 3865, by calling 101 or tweeting @MetCC quoting 1277/16. Members of the public can also contact LGBT+ charity Galop on 020 7704 2040 to give information about the incident.
To remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Related topics: Hate crime