WHILE family, friends and the community were reeling from the shock of schoolboy Reece Tansey’s murder, Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team swung into action.

Every murder leaves people devastated but the death of a child is particularly harrowing and the team, led in the investigation by Det Insp Nicola McCulloch were determined to bring his killers to justice.

It took months of painstaking enquiries to piece together the evidence needed to convict teenagers Boy A and Boy B.

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DI McCulloch has described how she and her dedicated team went about their task.

Reece was able to speak during his final minutes and provided names to witnesses that were similar to those of Boy A and Boy B. The team researched the names to identify who may have been involved.

Relatives of the two boys also made contact with police to suggest they may be involved.

This resulted in early decisions to arrest the two defendants and recover key evidence.

The full investigation was completed in six months from May to October 2021.

The murder of Reece had a significant impact on the local community of Bolton, particularly young people who attended local high schools.

Many young people were potential witnesses to conversations between Reece and the two boys prior to the stabbing. They were understandably distressed by what had happened to Reece and also by their involvement in such a serious investigation.

Investigators were actively involved with partners to ensure young witnesses were offered support.

Detectives also worked with GMP’s violence reduction unit and other partners to ensure the risks associated with carrying and using knives was distributed to young people in the local community.

DI McCullloch added: “This investigation relied heavily upon telephone evidence, social media evidence and CCTV footage.

“A significant volume of all three evidence types were examined and painstakingly pieced together to understand Reece’s movements, the movements of the two boys on May 3 and 4, 2021 and any contact between them.

“The movements of the two boys after the murder until their arrest were fully investigated.

“This was a particularly tragic case for the team to investigate given the age of Reece and the two defendants.

“We have seen the impact on Reece’s family and friends and the devastation his death has caused.

“Reece had so much of his life to look forward and he was very much loved by many.His life was taken too soon.

“As a team, we all knew how important it was to obtain justice for Reece and his family. It made us determined to do our best each day for Reece because this is what he deserved.

“Reece’s family attended the trial and listened to the evidence each day, it was harrowing for them and they honoured his memory by doing so.”