Businessman, 48, found dead on his farm after investigating suspected burglary

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Tributes have been paid to a businessman was found dead on his farm following a suspected medical episode after investigating reports of a burglary.

Peter Cordwell, 48, died at Collop Gate Farm in Heywood, Rochdale, shortly before 11.15pm on Wednesday despite paramedics desperately trying to save him.

Neighbours say Mr Cordwell a dad-of-three went to investigate after he was alerted to a possible break-in.

Police were also called to the scene but said the burglars fled, before the officers arrived.

Cops have launched an investigation into the death of Mr Cordwell, as well as the reported burglary, and are appealing for information.

Detective Inspector Julie Maxwell, of GMP's Rochdale district, said there was evidence to suggest the burglary was 'targeted'.

She said: "I would like to start by saying that the investigation team's thoughts are with the man's loved ones and specialist officers are supporting them.

"We believe the man suffered a medical episode but enquiries are ongoing and a post-mortem investigation will confirm the cause of his death.

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"Our investigation is in the early stages but we are working hard to establish the full circumstances surrounding both the death of the man and the reported burglary.

"I would like to use this opportunity to appeal to anyone with information, regardless of the perceived significance, to contact us, or Crimestoppers – anonymously – as soon as possible.

"We understand that members of the public may be concerned by this incident.

"I would like to offer some reassurance by saying that, although we are keeping an open mind, there is evidence to suggest the burglary was targeted.

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"Regardless, extra officers are in the area and will remain for the foreseeable future.

"Anyone who is concerned can speak with them."

Hundreds of tributes have been paid to Mr Cordwell who was known as 'Creamy'.

His devastated wife took to Facebook to thanks those who paid tributes.

She said: "Thank you so much to every single person who has sent kind message. To say we are totally devastated is an understatement.

"He was the love of my life. We spent the last 24 year together, married for 21 years. 3 kids and an business empire later. I’ll love you for the rest of my life. You were my soul mate."

His daughter Pip posted a picture of her father and wrote: "The Man, The Myth, The Legend."

A friend told the M.E.N: "Its a great loss, he was the a true gentleman, kind and always happy to give advice. He supported local charity. And he wasn't scared to say what needed saying."

Mr Cordwell was one of the owners of the farm where he died.

Police were called to reports of a burglary at one of the units on the farm.

Collop Gate Farm remained sealed off today as an investigation continued.

Crime scene investigators were pictured at the site.

Greater Manchester Police said officers were called to reports of a burglary at units of Manchester Road at around 11.15pm on Wednesday night.

"Officers attended and found a man – one of the owners – had subsequently suffered what is believed to have been a medical episode," the force said in a statement.

"Despite the best efforts of paramedics, he sadly died a short time later."

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