Relatives of man found dead in home on moment they heard tragic news
- Credit: Archant
The family of a man who died in Mile Cross have told how they collapsed to the floor in shock after finding out the devastating news.
Mark Franklin, 58, was discovered on Friday night inside a property in Appleyard Crescent.
A murder investigation has been launched as a Home Office post-mortem discovered Mr Franklin had died from serious head wounds.
His 48-year-old cousin Sharon Harvey - who also lives in Mile Cross - was told the tragic news while out walking her dog.
She was talking to an ice cream man who had parked his van in the estate when the incident was mentioned.
Ms Harvey said: "I am still in shock and shaking like a leaf. I am waiting for my GP to get back to me with a prescription to help me sleep.
"I went to get my ice cream and the man who served me said: 'Did you hear about what happened at Appleyard Crescent?'
"I did not think it would be Mark of course but I knew he lived there. The ice cream man told me to check the news.
"As soon as I saw it I dropped everything and went straight up there.
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"When I saw it was his house I collapsed to the floor.
"The officers were trying to calm me down because I was so upset."
Ms Harvey recalled frequently walking past Mr Franklin's home where she would gesture at him to check if he was all right as he sat gazing out of the window.
She added if her cousin gave her the thumbs up he was fine.
If he didn't respond with the gesture, she'd knock on the door and see if he wanted anything.
Ms Harvey last saw Mr Franklin around three weeks ago when he popped in to her home just to say hello.
She was also the first to lay flowers outside the terraced house in Appleyard Crescent in tribute to him.
Ms Harvey continued: "I feel very unsafe living here now. I feel very frightened.
"Mark used to enjoy betting on horses and shopping on Amazon.
"I used to see him out on his electric bike a lot as well but he seemed to stop doing that so much since the Covid pandemic."
Another cousin Rosie Miller, 57, recalled Mr Franklin spending a lot of time outside in his shed, often enjoying his own company.
Ms Miller said: "Mark was a kind person who would never hurt anybody.
"He just got on with it.
"It was such a shock to hear he was found dead."
She added: "He lived on his own and would mainly come out at night. He was a bit of a hoarder and used to go out collecting things.
"I do not know the ins and outs of what happened but my cousin was the one who laid flowers outside his house. It is so sad."
Ms Miller, who grew up in Norwich, said she last saw Mr Franklin four years ago at her aunt's funeral at Norwich St Faith's Crematorium.
"He was standing on his own looking so sad, so I went up to talk to him. I felt sorry for him," she recalled.
"Mark would often be by himself. But I remember him caring for my uncle before he passed away.
"He lived in Norwich for years - he'd never left."
Ms Miller believes Mr Franklin was unemployed at the time of his death.
She added he leaves behind two sisters and a brother.
Ms Miller explained Mr Franklin was rocked by the death of his parents Kathleen and David in recent years.
Police investigations are also ongoing in Shipfield - just off Sprowston Road - as neighbours spotted drones and officers checking gardens and communal bins over the weekend.
A man in his 60s was arrested in connection with the death but has since been released on bail until Friday, May 27.
Anyone with any information should contact Norfolk Police on 101, quoting the cad number 339 of Friday, April 29.