A TEENAGE killer who murdered a teaching assistant before hiding her body in a wheelie bin and burying her in a shallow grave can today be named.
Rocky Marciano Price, 17, pounced on innocent mum-of-two Lindsay Birbeck as she went for a walk in woodland before crushing her neck and hiding her body.
The teen – a complete stranger to the devoted mum – then stuffed her body in a wheelie bin and hid her at the back of a cemetery – leaving her family devastated that she “never came home” after her sunny afternoon stroll.
In a statement, her family blasted Price for his “evil, cowardly behaviour”.
They said: “Lindsay went for a walk on a sunny afternoon in August and never came home.
“This callous act has destroyed our lives forever.”
It took 12 days for Lindsay’s body to be found by a horrified dog walker.
The killer – who was today named after reporting restrictions were lifted at Preston Crown Court – was taken to the police station by his parents Creddy, 47, and Martina, 39, after his “shocked” teachers recognised him in CCTV released by cops.
Price, who has a low IQ of 65, was described by teachers as “very quiet” and “pretty much non-verbal”.
Lancashire Telegraph today revealed the teen had lived in Accrington with his family including his parents and five siblings.
The teen had tried to claim he didn’t kill Lindsay but was offered “a lot of money” by an unknown man to “get rid of the body”.
But jurors saw through his lies and unanimously found him guilty of murder at Preston Crown Court on Thursday after just three hours.
Horrifically, the court heard the teen had tried to chop up Lindsay’s body and severe force was used to inflict catastrophic neck injuries, possibly through stamping, kicking or kneeling.
A post-mortem determined she died as a result of compression of the neck after her body was found at Accrington Cemetery, Lancashire, in August last year.
Detective Superintendent Andy Cribbin of Lancashire Police, said it was a “despicable crime” that saw the teen attack and kill Lindsay, who was a “complete stranger”.
He said: “Throughout the investigation and trial, the defendant weaved a tale of lies and tried to pass the blame onto an ‘unknown man’, who in reality did not exist.
“He has shown no remorse whatsoever for his offending and the devastation caused to the lives of Lindsay’s family and friends.”
He said chilling CCTV showed the teen making several trips from Coppice to the cemetery – believing that he was seeing if he could move the mother’s body without being caught.
The verdicts come on the 12-month anniversary of Lindsay’s death, who was a mother to Sarah, 17, and Steven, 20.
The killer youth, appearing on video link, did not react when the foreman read out the verdicts.
There was also no reaction from his parents at court.
The teenager had pleaded guilty to assisting in the disposal of her body but claimed he played no role in her death.
Preston Crown Court heard how the 47-year-old teaching assistant was brutally murdered by the teen, who two hours later was seen on CCTV calmly emerging bare-chested with his tracksuit unzipped.
He put a plan in motion to dispose of Lindsay’s body by first hiding her in a blue wheelie bin and later dragging her across to the cemetery.
After finding a quiet and secluded area near the railway line, he spent over an hour burying her body before leaving a saw, gloves and the wheelie bin at the scene.
Over the next several days the teenager was captured on CCTV returning four times to visit her grave.
Prosecutor David McLachlan QC told the murder trial the teen had been “on the prowl” before the murder.
He targeted another female walker who “had a lucky escape” minutes before he brutally attacked Lindsay.
Today judge Justice Yip said: “This was a dreadful crime which understandably generated strong public interest. The public will naturally want to know who this person was as they come to terms with something that rocked the local community.”
He was identified after “shocked” teachers recognised him in CCTV released by police – with the teen’s parents taking him into a station later that day.
The youth, with the support of an intermediary, was interviewed 11 times over three days and answered “no comment to all questions”.
However in a prepared statement he admitted moving the bin and burying the body but said he was not involved in Lindsay’s death.
Instead he claimed he was approached by a stranger who promised him “a lot of money” if he disposed of a body.
A search of his Accrington home had uncovered plastic sheets that were “indistinguishable” to the ones at Lindsay’s grave.
Tracksuits and other clothing were also analysed and matched those worn by the youth from CCTV on August 12, 16 and 17.
Defence barrister Mark Fenhalls QC had told jurors the teenager did a “terrible and ghastly” act burying her naked body in the cemetery but was “not her killer”.
But prosecutor Mr McLachlan said: “He acted all alone.”
The teen will be sentenced on Friday.