Spotlight on private life as spy murder mystery deepens

Detectives investigating the murder of a British code-breaker were last night examining whether he lived a double life.

The spotlight was on the private life of GCHQ mathematics prodigy Gareth Williams, as investigators hunted for clues to identify his killer.

The 30-year-old's body was found stuffed into a bag in the bath of his central London government flat on Monday.

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But the mystery over his final hours has since deepened after a post-mortem examination failed to identify a cause of death.

Further tests will determine if the cycling fanatic was asphyxiated or poisoned, as well as if drugs or alcohol were present in his system.

A pathologist found that Mr Williams had not been stabbed or shot and there were no obvious signs of strangulation.

Police have refused to categorise the case as a murder inquiry, despite the bizarre circumstances, as they insist he may have died innocently. One line of inquiry is that he is the victim of sex game that went wrong, and questions remain over why he was not discovered sooner.

Mr Williams was days from completing a one-year secondment to the headquarters of MI6 from his job at the national "listening post", GCHQ in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Police believe Mr Williams's body could have lain undiscovered for up to a fortnight, and it is thought he was on holiday at the time of his death. They suspect the key to the case could lie in his private life and are examining his mobile phone and financial records, as well as CCTV cameras around his home.

Investigators suspect that Mr Williams might have known his killer as there was no sign of forced entry at his top-floor flat in smart Alderney Street, Pimlico.

His home has been the subject of a fingertip search, amid fears that top-secret work material could have gone missing.

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Mr Williams's parents, Ian and Ellen, travelled to London with his sister Ceri today from their home in Anglesey to speak to police and formally identify his body.

A man who answered the door of their home said: "As you can imagine, it is hard enough at the moment, and we have nothing to say."

Further details of Mr Williams continued to emerge yesterday, as friends described him as an extremely bright, quiet and determined man.

Childhood friend Dylan Parry, 34, said Mr Williams was academically gifted but socially naive and could be easily led.

Mr Parry, a volunteer at Westminster Cathedral, went to school with Mr Williams at Uwchradd Bodedern secondary in Anglesey, North Wales.He said: "He was the kind of person who found it difficult to engage with people on a normal level.

Mr Parry added that his friend was someone "people could easily take advantage of", that he was "naive" and a poor judge of character.

Fellow cyclists, including members of clubs in Cheltenham and Holyhead, paid tribute to Mr Williams for his skills after he clocked up a series of records.

One said: "People sometimes thought he was dense because he spoke rather slowly and sometimes seemed distracted. How wrong can you get?"

Keith Thompson, of Holyhead Cycling Club, said:: "I never spoke to him about his job or his private life. It was his cycling that we knew about."