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Manhunt for two teenagers continues after Lullingstone Castle Murder



A renewed appeal for witnesses has been issued by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate as they continue to investigate the death of a man in Eynsford.





Kent Police was called at 5.21pm on Thursday 28 May 2020 to a disturbance in the grounds of Lullingstone Castle. South East Coast Ambulance Service also attended and 66-year-old Charlie Hilder, from Romford, Essex was pronounced deceased at the scene. A post-mortem examination, carried out on Monday 1 June, has concluded Mr Hilder died from a heart attack but officers are continuing to investigate the wider circumstances.

It is understood that, at around 5pm, Mr Hilder was fishing from a boat in a private lake when he saw two boys at the bank near to the weir and asked them to leave.


A brief dispute took place, during which items were allegedly thrown towards Mr Hilder. Several minutes later a further verbal argument took place between the boys and Mr Hilder in a car park, which is by the lake and near the castle gate. After the boys had left, at around 5.50pm Mr Hilder collapsed and later died.

Detectives would like to speak with the two boys, or anyone who saw them in the area. They are understood to be white and aged between 11 and 18. At the time they were wearing dark t-shirts and lighter coloured shorts. One of them may have been carrying a fishing rod.

Detective Chief Inspector Ivan Beasley said: ‘We are seeking to obtain any information that can help us establish the full circumstances leading up to Mr Hilder’s death.


We have now established that a man and a woman, aged around 20, were sunbathing or picnicking in the field near to the car park at around 5pm and would urge them to contact us at their earliest opportunity.


We would also like to obtain any video that may have been recorded by motorists or cyclists who travelled along Castle Road or Shoreham Road, between 12pm and 7pm on 28 May.

‘In addition to this, we would ask anyone who attended the Lullingstone Castle area to review personal photographs they have taken as they may feature the boys in the background.

A person flying the drone in the area has made contact with our investigators following an earlier appeal and we are grateful for their assistance.’