Neighbours have spoken of their 'shock and sadness' over the death of a 50-year-old Deepdale man as a murder investigation continues
Detectives probing the death of Steven May, 50, of Raven Street, on May 20, revealed today that a murder inquiry was under way.
Neighbours have described Mr May as 'vulnerable' and that he liked a drink.
It is understood Mr May lived with his mother who died towards the end of last year and that he was living with someone else at the property at the time of his death.
Tony Evans and his partner Lee Bamber live opposite the property and both knew Mr May.
Mr Evans, 44, said: "We've known Steven for about ten years, since we've been round here.
"A lot didn't want to talk to him - I'm one of those that can talk to anybody.
"The past few weeks we've seen nothing of him really. We've seen in the shops, he looked totally different, lost weight. His clothes were sagging off. Even on a hot day he had a parka on with the hood up."
Lee said: "Because he was a drinker, because he had epilepsy, he was vulnerable. People used to take advantage of him.
"When his mum died, I think it was September, October, she was always there.
"I can imagine how he felt when his mum died. He didn't have any friends. it's sad.
"We might have seen him in the shops of whatever and stopped and said hello."
She added: "It's a shame, he was only fifty.
"It's a bit close to home. it's scary."
Tony said it was a shock, adding; "For me, I like anybody, I don't judge anybody, but right on your doorstep . . . "
Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said they also knew Mr May.
"A long time," said the neighbour. "We've lived here fifty years and they came after. Steven hasn't always live there.
"He liked a drink, but he was pleasant enough. It was the company he kept.
"He wasn't nasty drunk. He was pleasant enough with me always."
They added; "I'm shocked I've found out what happened. I thought it was natural.
"I feel for the family.
"Apart from the last couple of weeks, someone has been staying there."
Lancashire Police said they were called at around 9:45am on Monday, May 20 after Mr May, 50, had been found deceased inside a property on Raven Street, Deepdale.
A subsequent post mortem examination revealed a number of injuries to Mr May’s body, including multiple fractures.
It is believed he died as a result of these.
Officers have appealed to anyone who may have seen or heard from Steven in the days leading up to his death to get in touch.
DI Martin Pearson, from Preston Police, said: “Firstly, my thoughts are with Steven’s family at this extremely sad and distressing time. We have specially trained officers offering them support.
“We are looking at his last movements in the time before he suddenly died to try and build a picture of what has happened to him and why.
“If you think you saw him, please make contact with us as you may have vital information to assist our investigation.
"Similarly, if you know anything about how Steven could have come about these fatal injuries, please come forward.”
A 44-year-old man from Preston has been arrested on suspicion of Steven’s murder.
He remains on police custody at this time.
If you have any information that could help, call 101, quoting incident reference 1596 of May 23rd.
Alternatively, you can reach Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.