Pair arrested on suspicion of murdering Dagenham man Neill Buchel to remain in custody for further 36 hours

Neill Buchel was reported missing on March 18

Neill Buchel was reported missing on March 18 - Credit: Archant

Two men arrested on suspicion of murdering Dagenham man Neill Buchel remain in custody this morning after police secured a warrant for their extended detention from magistrates.

Detectives must now charge or release the pair, aged 41 and 35, by 5am tomorrow – or apply to a court for a 36-hour extension.

Mr Buchel, 39, went missing from Braintree Road on March 13 and was reported missing to police at 8.30pm on March 18 by his estranged partner.

The two men, arrested on suspicion of murder on Tuesday, are in custody at an east London police station.

Police say Mr Buchel was involved in an altercation earlier on the day he disappeared at about 3pm.

He was with a friend in Heath Park, Dagenham, when they became involved in a verbal dispute with a group of men.

Police were called and a 41-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of public order offences. He was subsequently issued with a penalty notice for disorder.

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Mr Buchel then returned, with others, to an address in Stansgate Road that he frequented.

Since then, he has made no contact with his friends or family, including his estranged partner and two daughters – which is said to be “totally out of character”.

Police have opened an incident room at the Homicide and Major Crime Command under Det Ch Insp Chris Jones to work on the case.

Det Ch Insp Jones said: “We are appealing for anyone who saw that earlier altercation or anyone who has information about may have happened to Mr Buchel to please come forward and assist with our enquiries.”

He added: “We have not found Mr Buchel but we believe he has come to significant harm.

“It is highly unlikely he would not have contacted his friends and family as he regularly did if he was still OK.”

Anyone who can help should contact the incident room on 020 8345 3734 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Do you know Mr Buchel? Please contact the news desk on 020 8477 3886 if you would like to leave a tribute.