17/04/2012 06:41 BST

Police Given More Time To Quiz Suspects In Frankie Cocozza Friend Connor Saunders' Murder

Detectives have been given more time to question two teenagers over the death of a promising young footballer and former childhood friend of former X Factor star Frankie Cocozza.

Magistrates granted Sussex Police another 36 hours yesterday afternoon to keep the two 14-year-old boys in custody on suspicion of the murder of Connor Saunders, 19, who died at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on Sunday morning following an argument in the street on Saturday night.

Mr Saunders, of Downsway, Woodingdean, Brighton, is believed to have received a forceful punch during an altercation between two groups of people in West Street, Rottingdean, East Sussex, between 10.30pm and 10.55pm on Saturday, Sussex Police said.

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Saunders died from injuries consistent with trauma to the head.

Following the teenager's death, Cocozza tweeted: "My life will never be the same."

He began the message with the "#cs26" hashtag, which has been used by Sussex Police in messages about the incident.

Cocozza's tweet mourning his friend's death

He also used the social networking site to ask people to join the Saunders family at Tesco in Rottingdean last night, near to where the teenager died, to say a prayer for his friend.

Peacehaven and Telscombe Football Club released a statement saying they had lost a "wonderful person and talented footballer".

A 13-year-old boy who was also arrested on suspicion of murder was released on bail until 8 May yesterday pending

further inquiries.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick May, from the Surrey and Sussex major crime team, said: "Exactly why this incident took place is still unclear.

"There has been some speculation that this may have been two gangs of youths confronting each other. We do not believe that this was the case.

"This appears to have been two groups of people who met each other while walking through Rottingdean who have exchanged words.

"We would like to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard the incident and has not yet contacted police."

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Markby, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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