Police reveal murdered OAP was hit on the head
7:25am Monday 20th August 2012
A pensioner murdered in her Southampton waterfront home was killed by a blow to the head, it has been revealed.
Police were called to the scene following a frantic 999 call at 7.55pm on Saturday and the area surrounding the pensioner’s home in Atlantic Close, Ocean Village, Southampton, was quickly sealed off and turned into a crime scene.
Late yesterday morning detectives from Hampshire’s major investigation team confirmed they were treating the death of the pensioner, who was in her late 80s, as murder.
She was killed by at least one blow to the head.
More than 60 officers are now working on the inquiry, codenamed Operation Anglian, to establish how and when she was killed.
A 37-year-old man, who lives locally, was last night still in police custody, having been arrested on suspicion of the murder.
However, detectives were keen to stress they were at a very early stage of the investigation.
Residents living in and around the quiet cul-de-sac of Atlantic Close woke to find a large part of their neighbourhood had been cordoned off with police tape and a heavy police presence in their street.
Officers were carrying out door to door enquiries, speaking to anyone who may have heard or seen anything suspicious in the previous 48 hours since the OAP was last seen alive.
Footage from CCTV cameras in the area was also being recovered in the hope that the killer may have been captured entering or leaving the ground floor one-bedroom flat.
Yesterday, the curtains were drawn across the front window of the property, where three china figurines sat neatly on the windowsill.
A large white and yellow forensic tent had been erected over what appeared to be a door leading into a garden area outside the apartment.
Forensic experts wearing white protective suits were seen coming and going from the back of the block of flats, carrying crates and plastic bags.
Throughout Saturday night eyewitnesses told how teams of officers were searching bushes and hedgerows in the hunt for any weapons or clothing that may have been discarded by the killer when they made their getaway.
They were also seen shining torches into the nearby marina, just metres away from the dead woman’s home.
However, detectives are remaining tight-lipped about exactly what they are looking for.
They have, however, warned residents to expect disruption over coming days as well as an increased police presence in the neighbourhood until all evidential work is completed inside the murder scene.
Last night shocked neighbours were still reeling from the tragic news with one friend of the victim describing her as a “well dressed, fit, healthy and intelligent woman”.
The pensioner told the Daily Echo: “I saw police round there last night and I knew something terrible had happened.
“It is horrible. It is particularly nasty because I knew her. She was a lovely person, an active lady. She had a nicely kept house.”
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “I used to see an elderly lady in the garden there when I walked past and I always said hello. She seemed very nice.
“It is very shocking news.”
Andrea Boghi, who lives in Atlantic Close, added: “It is a very quiet road and I have never seen any trouble here or much police activity.
“I looked out of the window at about half past midnight and saw police shining torches on the ground looking for something.
“I suspected from all the activity that somebody had died.”
Greeta Singh, 30, an IT consultant from neighbouring Pacific Close, said: “I could see a lot of stuff happening but we could not get more information. We saw an ambulance and police had put up cordons. There were police officers everywhere.
“It is usually very peaceful and really safe. I am really shocked.”
Shelley Flaherty, 25, of Atlantic Close, added: “It makes you feel uneasy.”
A post mortem examination to establish exactly how the pensioner died began yesterday afternoon.
Her family of were last night being supported by a family liaison officer from Hampshire police and were preparing to formally identify her body.
Detective Superintendent Rachel Farrell, who is leading the investigation, said: “Although we have made an arrest I would like to stress that we are still very much in the preliminary stages of our investigation and our enquiries continue.
“We do still require the assistance of the public and appeal to anyone who has any information that will assist us with our investigation to contact us.”