A massive police operation over the suspected murder of Billy the goldfish has been called off after detectives found a suicide note.
Billy’s owner, Owen Powell, had discovered the body of the beloved family pet in the early hours of Saturday morning, lying on the dining room floor of the Swindon home he shares with his wife and 2 young children.
‘He was on the floor directly below his bowl where he had happily lived for the past 18 months’ said Mr Powell, ‘I tried to resuscitate him, and even shocked him with the jump leads from my car, after shouting “Clear!” like I’d seen on TV, but it didn’t seem to help. There was water splashed all over the cabinet where the bowl stands, and it looked like there had been a struggle, so I called the police.’
Wiltshire police immediately launched an investigation into what was believed at the time to be a murder. With no signs of forced entry they were working on the theory that he had been killed by somebody known to the family, who would have had unimpeded access to the home. With Mr Powell and his wife both providing alibis, initial inquiries focussed on their 4 year old son Thomas, and 9 month old daughter Lily.
It was while questioning the pair that detectives discovered the note, left behind Billy’s bowl. The full contents have not been released, but a portion leaked to the press saw the deceased bemoaning his poor memory, complaining that his cramped living arrangements left him feeling ‘like I’m living my life in a goldfish bowl’ and repeatedly stating ‘Oh look, a castle!’.
Handwriting experts, brought in to analyse the note, have confirmed that the style matched a previous letter sent to Thomas thanking him for the castle, which had been a Christmas present.
It is now thought that the signs of struggle, which had led Owen to call the police, were a result of Billy having second thoughts about his decision to end it all, and attempting to climb back into his bowl.
A police spokesman confirmed that the death is no longer being treated as suspicious, and a 2 year old tabby cat that had been held for further questioning has been released without charge.