Drug baron fresh from prison could be killer of Milton Keynes woman

Drug dealer Daren Ellis
Drug dealer Daren Ellis

The man who murdered city mum Serena Hickey was allegedly a major drug dealer who had just finished a six year prison sentence.

Darren Ellis,35, ran a sophisticated drugs ring from his home and was described in court as a “prime mover” in a conspiracy to distribute drugs throughout the country.

It is believed to be his body that was found on a railway track shortly after Serena was discovered beaten and strangled in a Premier Inn hotel room on Saturday morning.

It is believed she and Mr Ellis, who lived in Nuneaton, were in a relationship and has booked in at the Kempston hotel together the previous evening.

Police are treating the two deaths as murder and suicide.

Within three days of the tragedy Serena’s actor brother Zane set up a charity in her memory to help victims of domestic abuse.

“We must unite to make sure this tragedy is never allowed to happen again. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to protect my sister but let me protect yours,” he said.

Zane,who was a member of the popular Dreamboys male stripper group, wrote on Facebook: “My beautiful sister was beaten and strangled to death by a jealous and obsessed guy... Domestic violence is never OK. If he or she hits you even once is too much because the next time could be your life.”

Tragically Serena’s last message on Facebook was to her teenage son Lyle. She wrote last Friday, the same day she booked into the Premier Inn: “Missing my baby today, Lyle Orange. Love my boy.”

The divorcee, who was in her early forties, worked at Oakhill Lettings, where her colleagues described her as “an immensely popular member of staff.”

“She made a big impression on us all and she will be sincerely missed,” said a spokesman.