Police reveal both acidic and alkali chemicals found on body of murdered Wigan dad Liam Smith

Detectives investigating the murder of a Wigan dad have revealed he was covered in both acidic and alkali chemicals, possibly in an attempt to destroy evidence.

Liam Smith, 38, was found dead near his home on Kilburn Drive, Shevington, on the evening of November 24 after being shot.

Police revealed at the time that a “potentially hazardous substance” was found on Mr Smith’s body, with members of the public who had direct contact with him urged to seek medical advice.

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Liam Smith

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Det Ch Insp Gina Brennand, who is leading the investigation, has now said two chemicals were used – one acid and one alkaline.

This may have been because the attack was “personal” or could have been an attempt to destroy evidence.

She said: "There are a number of different hypotheses. Is it to reduce forensic recovery or is it to send a message? It's unusual. We see acid attacks but to see an acid attack combined with an alkaline attack is unusual."

The MEN reported Det Ch Insp Brennand also revealed Mr Smith was targeted in the street, moments after leaving his home, and that CCTV footage of the gunman arriving and then leaving in a vehicle had been found. It did not show the actual shooting though.

She described Mr Smith as a “well-liked family man” and urged anyone with information about what happened to contact the police.

The murder of Mr Smith came as a huge shock to the whole community in Shevington and many tributes were paid to him.

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In a statement released via police at the time, his family said: “Liam was kind-hearted, funny, the life and soul of the party. He was the most devoted dad, much loved son, brother, grandson and uncle. He will sorely be missed by all who knew and loved him.”

More than £6,000 has been donated to an online appeal set up in his memory – more than treble the original target of £2,000.

Anyone with information about what happened is asked to contact police online or by calling 101, quoting incident 000910 of November 25.