Has Ross Barton REALLY left Emmerdale?

The bad boy goes on the run, but will he be back?

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Emmerdale murder suspect Ross Barton has left the village as the search for his mother Emma’s killer intensifies. Is this really the last we’ve seen of the Barton bad boy? And could his vanishing act be viewed as an admission of guilt?

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Earlier this week a flashback to the day of the murder showed Ross in church reading Emma’s confession letter, written shortly before her death – the same letter glimpsed in half-brother Adam’s possession in his flashback before it turned up in his car which led to Adam’s arrest.

Convinced Ross is setting him up, Adam has been throwing the accusations in his sibling’s direction and in tonight’s episode Ross decided he couldn’t stand the suspicion any longer and packed a bag. Despite big brother Pete begging him to stay as doing a runner would inevitably make things worse, Ross protested his innocence but declared he wasn’t going to hang around to have the crime pinned on him.

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With Adam keen to move the spotlight onto someone else, he and wife Vic now plan to tell the cops Ross has fled – but will the boys in blue go looking for him?

Fans of the brooding buff brawler fearing he’s gone for good can rest easy, as actor Michael Parr recently revealed his character will be involved in a major new storyline next year. “Ross has a big story coming his way in the new year,” the actor told Inside Soap’s 2018 Yearbook. “It’s a big subject that we’re going to be tackling and I’ll have to do a lot of research for it, which really excites me.”

So we know Ross will return – but will the next time we see him be during a high-octane police chase as he tries to stay one step ahead of the authorities? Is Parr’s big storyline Ross being sent to prison having been named, or framed, as the killer? Seeing the toughest guy in the Dales trying not to crack behind bars would certainly make for dramatic viewing.

And can Ross really be ruled out as a suspect seeing as we’re not due to find out whodunnit quite yet? We know he was hanging around the viaduct around the time the murder happened… What’s he hiding?

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.

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And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.