UNSOLVED: Fresh appeal for information over brutal home invasion murder of Colin Enkel 15 years ago
EXCLUSIVE: POLICE have launched a fresh appeal for information to solve the brutal murder of a man beaten to death with baseball bats in his own home in a small village 15 years ago.
Clive Enkel, 53, died two days later from injuries sustained in the horrific attack on September 25 2008 in the small Essex village of Abridge.
He was at home on the evening of the attack with his elderly father, when the assailants smashed through the front door, pushed past his father, then chased Clive upstairs to his bedroom.
The killers were believed to be itinerant traders from the traveller community, who had been seen knocking doors in the area looking for work.
An efit (above) of a man was released in 2009. He had done gardening work at the Enkel's home in Spring 2007, but did not complete it, but an accomplice took £500 cash from Mr Enkel's now late father, Louis Enkel (below right with Clive).
According to police, he returned to tout for work again two days before the murder.
There was a heated exchange and Clive reported the man to the police. Two days later they returned.
Det Insp Anne Cameron said in 2009: "The men, armed with baseball bats, cornered Clive in his bedroom.
"He didn't stand a chance. Blow after blow, they repeatedly struck Clive around the head and left him for dead."
The programme heard Mr Enkel was a kind-natured man who cared for his father after the death of his mother, Vera. The family had lived in the house for 50 years.
His cousin, Denise, said her uncle had lost his "only child, his companion, his soul mate".
Det Insp Camerom (below) continued: "This is the most harrowing case I have come across in 17 years in the police.
"For a man who cared for others, Clive died in the hands of a gang who don't care about human life."
The man who called at the Enkel's home is described as 5ft 10in (1.78m), in his late forties with a round face and brown greying hair.
Police are also appealing for information on a silver BMW M3 (below), which was stolen from Cambridgeshire on the day of the murder, 25 September, and used as the gang's getaway car.
It was found dumped at sewage works two miles away but officers want to know if it was seen between 3pm and 8pm.
An Essex Police spokesman said: "There they subjected him to a brutal assault leaving him with head injuries, which ultimately led to his death.
"An extremely lengthy and intensive investigation followed, led by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate."
Two men were arrested in 2008 but there was insufficient evidence to charge them, police said.
There were reviews of the murder, most recently in January 2023, and in 2019 and 2013, looking over all the evidence and pursuing any new lines of enquiry.
The spokesman added: "All cold case investigations are subject of routine reviews which are designed to identify those investigations with possible avenues for active investigation.
"This includes forensic opportunities, new information or intelligence being received and changes in witness engagement among others.
In September 2009, the case was featured on BBC Crimewatch, which included a reconstruction and appeal (watch it below).
Following the appeal, the show received 78 calls while four were received by Essex Police. In addition there were 17 text messages received and two emails.
These resulted in a number of new leads, which ultimately did not result in further arrests.
The spokesman said: "In the months and years following the attack, our detectives investigated the possibility that the suspects may have been in the area previously, in the days prior to the attack, looking for work."
In October 2008, officers arrested two men, then aged 19 and 28 and from Hertfordshire, in connection with the investigation, but they were later released from their bail without charge.
He added: "While no-one has ever been charged in connection with this incident, no case like this is ever closed.
"We remain sure that the identity of the murderers will be known outside of their own group."
DCI Ant Alcock said: “The attack on Clive Enkel was horrendous and his death left his family devastated.
“We have never given up hope of finding those responsible for bringing his life to a cruel and untimely end.
“We never treat any murder case as closed and we are committed to seeking justice for the families of victims left in the wake of such heinous acts.
“There must be someone out there who has information about this case which could have been playing on their minds for some time.
“I urge you to come forward with that information as it may be key to helping us catch these criminals.
“Your information will be treated in the strictest confidence so if you know anything at all please contact us or Crimestoppers anonymously.”
If you have any information about the case contact reporter Jon Austin on firstname.lastname@example.org in strictest confidence.