Friends of popular car mechanic Ken Collins have told of their horror after hearing police suspected him of murdering his girlfriend.
The 58-year-old was arrested last week after fire broke out at his Great Linford flat and the body of Dr Kathlyn Henderson was found inside.
Dr Henderson, 57, a retired Open University academic, had lived in St Leger Court with Mr Collins for more than 15 years,
A friend said: “Kenny was out when the fire started. He had all the devastation of hearing Kathlyn has died – then he was arrested for murder and arson.
“None of us had any doubt that he was innocent. We just hoped police would realise it was a horrible mistake.”
Mr Collins was held at the police station and questioned for two days before being released on bail pending further enquiries.
Two days later police announced he was no longer a suspect and had been freed from his bail.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Gill Wootton said: “A significant number of enquiries have taken place since the fire, including a detailed forensic examination of the scene. While it is not possible to give a definitive cause of the fire at this stage, a deliberate act now seems less likely.”
Mr Collins’ friend said: “Everyone was relieved for Kenny. At least now he can be allowed to grieve for Kathlyn in peace.”
An inquest into Dr Henderson’s death open on Friday and was adjourned.