TWO 16-year-old boys were yesterday being held in police custody on suspicion of murder following the fatal stabbing of Hailsham dad, Darren Croxton.
A murder investigation was formally launched after the 25-year-old died of his injuries in hospital early on Monday morning.
He was injured following a fracas in Bramble Drive, Hailsham, on the Sunday afternoon.
A post mortem carried out yesterday established that Mr Croxton died as a result of wounds inflicted by a knife during what police believe was a pre-planned fight between two groups in woods next to the quiet residential street.
The exact type of knife used in the attack is not known, but police believe the blade was at least four inches long.
The officer in charge of the case Detective Chief Inspector Jeff Riley from Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team. He said: “This is a fast-paced investigation and we are deploying a large amount of resources to bring whoever is responsible for this awful crime to justice.”
Yesterday, specialised dog patrols were being deployed around Bramble Drive to find the murder weapon and any other evidence.
Officers were sifting through CCTV and conducting house-to-house inquiries, while mounting high visibility patrols in the area.
Detective Chief Inspector Riley added: “This is a tragic incident and made all the more sad by the fact that the deceased was in the prime of his life and leaves behind a young child who will now grow up without her father.
“I would like to thank the local Hailsham community for their patience and support while the investigation gets under way but would like to make a further appeal for anyone with information that could help police with their inquiries to please come forward.”
Ten people, aged between 13 and 26-years-old, were initially quizzed by detectives from the major crime team at police stations across Sussex.
Five teenage boys - a 13-year-old, two 14-year-olds, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old - have now been released and are no longer part of the police investigation.
Three men aged 20, 23 and 27 have also been released from custody with no further action being taken, and they are now being treated as witnesses.
That leaves the two 16-year-old boys who were arrested on Monday on suspicion of murder and who remain in custody.