Detectives investigating the 39 lorry trailer deaths in Grays spoke to
Ronan Hughes, one of the two brothers sought by Essex Police, on the
phone but have urged the men to hand themselves in.

Essex Police Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Stoten told reporters at a
press conference in Northern Ireland: "Today I want to make a direct
appeal - Ronan and Christopher, hand yourselves in to the Police Service
of Northern Ireland.

"We need you both to come forward and assist this investigation.

Although we have already spoken to Ronan Hughes recently by telephone we need to have a conversation with him and his brother in person.

"Talking to Ronan and Christopher is crucial to our investigation and
the sooner we can make this happen the sooner we can progress and
continue with our investigation."

Det Ch Insp Stoten said officers had seized a lorry connected to the Hughes brothers on Thursday and appealed for information from the public on the pair's whereabouts.

He said: "It is essential we follow all lines of inquiry and bring those
responsible for these tragic events to justice.

"Ronan and Christopher Hughes are known to have links in Northern
Ireland and Ireland as well as the road haulage and shipping industries.

"We urge anyone who has been in contact with them or has any information about where they are to get in contact with us.

"Yesterday, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, acting upon information, stopped a lorry believed to be connected to the Hughes brothers.

"The vehicle was subsequently seized and no further arrests were made."

Ronan Hughes, who also goes by the name Rowan, and brother Christopher were named by police in connection with the investigation earlier this week. 

Det Ch Insp Stoten added: "I would like to thank all those from communities in Northern Ireland and Ireland, along with those in the road haulage and shipping industries, who have come forward to share information and knowledge with us. You help has been invaluable.

"We know that you are as appalled as the rest of the world following the deaths of 39 people, whose bodies were found in a container which travelled from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Grays in Essex last week.

"You may think your information is insignificant but even the smallest detail could be vital. 

"Again I would like to express my thanks to all those who have already come forward and provided us with information." 

Yesterday Police Service Northern Ireland acted upon information received and stopped a lorry believed to be connected to Ronan and Christopher Hughes.

The vehicle was subsequently seized. No further arrests were made.

Anyone with information is asked to contact us on 101 or online at:

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or by visiting