AN ARGENTINIAN man accused of murdering a champion dog breeder has died in prison while awaiting trial.
Alex Verdu Munoz, 26, has been jailed at Strangeways prison in Manchester after allegedly killing Valerie Freer, 68.
She was found dead in the driveway of her home in Whittington, Staffs, on February 24.
A post-mortem confirmed the famed Crufts breeder had died from fatal neck injuries.
Munoz was charged with her murder in March – as well as a number of other offenses relating to other unrelated incidents.
He also faced two counts of aggravated burglary, one count of burglary, possession of a bladed object and dangerous driving.
Police said the murder charge relates to Valerie’s death, while the burglary and other charges relate to incidents that occurred a few days before February 12 and 21.
But while awaiting trial in custody in the notorious Northern Prison, the 26-year-old died on May 15.
Staffordshire Police said the death of Munoz, who has no fixed address, is not being treated as suspicious. His next of kin have been informed.
The force said family liaisons would continue to support Valerie’s loved ones and the Argentine’s other alleged victims.
Detective Inspector Ian Fitzgerald said: “I would like to reassure the community that we remain committed to helping Valerie’s family and everyone affected by the events that took place in Whittington in February this year.
“We will continue to support our Greater Manchester Police colleagues as they work to prepare a file for Her Majesty’s Coroner to conduct an inquest into Mr Munoz’s death when the time comes.”
Valerie, who lived with her husband in a bungalow on Lichfield Road, was a renowned Samoyed breeder.
One of her dogs, Champion Nikara Dancer, was awarded Best in Show at Crufts in 2014.
The 68-year-old was set to return to the acclaimed dog show with her precious pooches just a week after her death.
Her heartbroken family paid tribute to the “beautiful” breeder at the time of her death in a moving statement.
They said: “Words cannot even begin to describe how truly devastated we are to have lost our beautiful Val.
“An incredibly beautiful woman both inside and out, she was always so loving and caring to everyone around her.
“Val is infinitely loved by family and friends around the world. She will be greatly missed and will always be in our hearts.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5480481/argentinian-man-murdered-crufts-breeder-dies-behind-bars/ Mysterious 26-year-old Argentine man who ‘murdered’ Crufts breeder dies behind bars