Man arrested over murder of popular mother-to-be Ella as crime sends shockwaves through Milton Keynes

Ella Parker, her alleged killer Ryan Blacknell and the crime scene
Ella Parker, her alleged killer Ryan Blacknell and the crime scene

The murder of pregnant Ella Parker and the arrest of a man with mental health issues has rocked the quiet community of New Bradwell.

The body of 28-year-old Ella was discovered in the hallway of her Newport Road home on Thursday last week.

The crime scene

The crime scene

She died as a result of puncture wounds to her neck.

Ella, who was five months pregnant, had been reported missing after she failed to turn up for a shift as team manager of the nearby Co-op store.

Police have now referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in relation to their response to the missing person report.

This week a 24-year-old man with mental health problems was charged with Ella’s murder.

Ella was a much-loved member of the small town community

Ella was a much-loved member of the small town community

Ryan Blacknell (pictured) appeared before MK magistrates on Wednesday morning, flanked by police officers and accompanied by an “appropriate adult”.

Police enlist an appropriate adult when dealing with children or vulnerable adults.

Slightly-built Mr Blacknell appeared bewildered and disorientated as magistrates remanded him in custody to be referred to crown court.

Meanwhile New Bradwell residents are still reeling with shock over the death of their Co-op team manager.

Ella was five months pregnant and mother to three

Ella was five months pregnant and mother to three

One resident said: “The Co-op is the heart of this town and Ella was known by everybody because of her job there.

“She was the worker who always had a big smile on her face and was kind to all the customers.”

A spokesman for the town’s Co-op, which closed for a day after the death, said Ella was “hugely popular” among colleagues and customers in the community.

“Colleagues are shocked and saddened by the news and sudden loss. Our thoughts are with Ella’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

Ryan Blacknell

Ryan Blacknell

Ella’s body was discovered on the afternoon of Thursday December 7. The alarm was raised by a 24-year-old man who ran to neighbours screaming for help.

Police have increased the presence of officers in New Bradwell while enquiries continue. Anyone with concerns or information can speak to an officer or call 101.