Police are investigating the sudden death of a well-known drag queen who was found dead in a city centre alleyway in Cardiff.
Darren Moore, a 39-year-old from Newport, was last seen at about 5am on Sunday while wearing full face make-up, a luminous green dress, blonde wig, heels and carrying a clutch bag.
Detectives are appealing for anyone who may have seen Mr Moore in the city centre during the early hours of Sunday to get in touch.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Raikes, who is leading the investigation, said: “Extensive enquiries are being carried out to establish the cause and circumstances of Mr Moore’s death.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. A Home Office post-mortem has been conducted and further examinations are currently ongoing to establish cause of death.
“I would like to thank the community for the excellent support they have provided to this investigation so far this week, which has helped enormously and I would appeal for anyone with information to please come forward.
“I would also like to respectfully ask people to refrain from speculating on social media about what has occurred and please let the police investigation take its course.”
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Superintendent Michelle Conquer said: “We understand there is shock and upset in the local and wider community following the death of Darren Moore who was a well-known drag artist in Cardiff.
“While an investigation is ongoing, our neighbourhood policing team as always will continue to provide a visible police presence in the city centre.
“A police cordon is in place while enquiries continue at the scene, and we thank the community for their support at this time.
“South Wales Police is proud to represent and protect all communities that it serves.
“Cardiff has a long and proud tradition of recognising, celebrating and protecting equality and diversity.
“Anyone who has concerns is asked to please contact South Wales Police in confidence.”
‘Our social butterfly never judged others’
In a statement issued by police, Mr Moore’s family said: “Darren Moore was a loving husband, son, brother, uncle and friend.
“He was always the life and soul wherever he went, he was Our social butterfly. He made sure he had a lot of time for people, and never judged others.
“Darren’s husband and family want to thank everyone for their support but now need time to grieve and respectfully request privacy at this time.”
A GoFundMe fundraising page has been set up to raise money for Mr Moore’s family.
It said: “Anyone who knew Darren would know how he was never understated in his appearance and costume. His larger-than-life character and charisma were something that you’ll never forget.
“We’d like to support Darren and the family and give Darren the biggest send off. If you’re able too and can afford a few quid, please donate what you can to ensure we do him proud.”
Tributes have been paid from across Cardiff’s gay community.
The Golden Cross, Wales’s oldest LGBT+ venue, posted on Twitter: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Darren Moore’s passing.
“Many of you will know of his long-standing support of the Golden.
“He was the life and soul of the party and would always be entertaining the masses, usually accompanied with a round of shots.”