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Murder investigation launched in Blandford

Detectives have launched a murder investigation following the death of a woman in Blandford Forum – with one man having been arrested.

At around 6.10pm today, Thursday 7 January 2016, officers were called to reports of a serious assault at an address on East Street in the town.

A woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her next of kin have not yet been informed. The HM Coroner has been notified.

The circumstances surrounding the woman’s death are suspicious and a murder investigation, led by Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, has been launched.

A 49-year-old local man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently assisting police with their enquiries.

Detective Inspector Mark Samuel, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Following the discovery of a woman’s body, enquiries are now underway to establish exactly what happened this evening.

“I am appealing for anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the East Street area, this evening, to contact us as soon as possible.

“All calls will be treated in the strictest of confidence.”

A cordon has been put in place at the location while crime scene investigators examine the scene. Road closures have also been put in place in the surrounding area.

Officers would like to inform the local community that a heightened police presence is likely to continue in the area tomorrow morning, Friday 8 January 2016, as they are carrying out a search for a potential weapon that may have been used during the incident.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Devoto, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “We have searched the area surrounding the scene and will continue to do so in daylight. It is possible that a knife or a sharp object was discarded by the alleged offender.

“I am appealing to local residents in the surrounding areas of Orchard Street, Dorset Street and The Close to keep their eyes peeled for an object of this sort near to their properties and gardens.

“It is important, if anyone finds one, to not touch it but to contact Dorset Police immediately on 101.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number 7:339. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.

Issued: 7 January 2016