- Michele Faiers was found dead with stab wounds in her home near Casoli
The husband of a British mother found stabbed to death in her Italian dream home is considered the main suspect and may have fled abroad.
Michele Faiers, 66, was found in a pool of blood in her first-floor bedroom by her friend on Wednesday morning at their rural home in a village near Casoli, a town in eastern Italy.
Colonel Alceo Greco of Italy’s Carabinieri police said Ms Faiers probably died at least three days ago and her husband Michael Whitbread, 74, was the main suspect.
After his wife’s body was found, police launched a nationwide manhunt for Mr Whitbread. It is feared that he may have already fled the country, Colonel Greco added.
The couple had lived in the house in the countryside near Palombara for four years and were described by local residents as “very private”.
Michele Faiers (pictured with her partner Michael Whitbread) was found fatally stabbed in her idyllic Italian home on Wednesday
Police confirmed her partner Michael was on the run and wanted in connection with her death
In pictures the couple can be seen enjoying a winter holiday, skiing in the nearby mountains and in one snap they can be seen with their daughter Harriet
Ms Faiers made her last post to her Instagram page on October 25, when three pictures of a spectacular sunset taken from the terrace of her home were uploaded.
She captioned it “another beautiful sunset” and among the people who liked it was her partner Mr Whitbread.
Other pictures show the couple enjoying a winter holiday, skiing in the nearby mountains and in one snap she can be seen with her daughter Harriet.
The couple also enjoyed several diving holidays together and Michael is believed to be an experienced scuba diver.
A local plumber the couple employed confirmed the Facebook identities to MailOnLine, saying: “I just can’t believe it.” They seemed like such a perfect couple. We stayed in touch and texted each other every now and then.
“I live about 40 km away and heard the news from my friend who lives across the street from Michele and Michael. She was found stabbed and he is now missing. I am shocked.
“The area is full of Brits and I have lots of British customers. They employ me to help install boilers and plumbing on their properties.
“The last time I saw Michele and Michael was a year ago when I went to check the boiler. They had purchased some abandoned land in front of their house and wanted to renovate it. I just can’t believe it.’
The couple also enjoyed several diving holidays together and Michael is believed to be an experienced scuba diver
Michele was found by police in her second floor bedroom and the keys to the house were reportedly still in the front door
She was found this morning at her rural home in the village of Verratti, near Casoli, a town in eastern Italy
Michele was found by police in her second floor bedroom and the keys to the house were reportedly still in the front door.
Her friend hadn’t heard from her for three days and was becoming increasingly concerned, so she decided to check on her, police said.
Neighbors said they heard her screaming in horror as they found the 66-year-old in a pool of blood and called police, who arrived at the rural home.
Forensic investigators are also conducting forensic tests to determine how long the victim had been dead before she was discovered by her heartbroken friend.
Local prosecutor Mirvana Di Serio was at the scene and the house, located on a remote country road, was cordoned off while police carried out a forensic investigation.
A source told MailOnline: “The alarm was raised after a friend tried to call her this morning but received no answer, she went to her house.”
“When she got there she found the woman dead with a stab wound to the stomach and her screams alerted other neighbors and the police were called.”
“They mostly kept to themselves, but every now and then you would see them walking their three dogs.”
The nearby community of Palombaro is home to 100 British expats who moved to the area to buy and renovate abandoned farmhouses.
The wider Abruzzo region is popular with middle-class Brits who have moved there for the cheap cost of living or have holiday homes there.
MailOnline has contacted the UK Foreign Office for comment.