Emmerdale’s series producer Iain MacLeod: 'Now we’ve revealed Emma’s death as a "whodunit", there’s lots of characters to point the finger at....'

Emmerdale has launched an explosive “whodunit” storyline after revealing that Emma Barton didn’t fall from the viaduct but was murdered. And Emma’s son, Ross, has emerged as an early front runner for bumping her off.

In the first of Thursday’s two episodes of Emmerdale, a Post Mortem revealed that Emma had marks on her arm, consistent with a struggle, and also had a bruise on her face that suggested she had been given a “proper hard slap” shortly before she died. Another scene showed one police officer remarking to another that the absence of a suicide note was suspicious. On the day she died, Emma was seen writing a note, which she left with Moira’s baby in the church – but it has seemingly disappeared.

Finn's funeral

Finn’s funeral took a dramatic turn when the police interrupted

DS Benton then interrupted the funeral of Finn Barton – the son Emma accidentally shot dead – and told Ross and Pete: “We no longer think she was on the viaduct alone. So I’m sure you both know what that means. We’re now launching a murder investigation.”

Meanwhile, in the second, hour-long episode, detectives searched the Barton home for evidence but couldn’t find Emma’s bag, purse and phone. Ross was then seen retrieving a package from the garage and burning the items. We already know that Ross saw Emma’s lifeless body last week, and fled – could he be her killer?

Is that Emma's bag Ross is burning?

Is this Ross destroying Emma’s bag by burning it? Could he be her killer?

Suspicion was also cast on Adam Barton, who stayed away from the funeral, while Gabby Thomas looked clearly rattled when police arrived in the village. Other suspects include Ross’s brother Pete, Cain Dingle, Faith Dingle and Moira Barton – whose newborn son was snatched by Emma from the hospital.

Said Emmerdale’s series producer Iain MacLeod: “Now we’ve revealed Emma’s death as a ‘whodunit’, there’s lots of characters to point the finger at.

“Emma has trodden on so many peoples’ toes in the village that there’s no shortage of potential suspects.”

Emmerdale continues tonight on ITV at 7.00pm.