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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Man held as Cumbria police probe woman's death

A man was being held by police in Carlisle today on suspicion of murder after a woman was found dead in a lane.

The 48-year-old was arrested following the discovery of a woman's body at Black Bull Lane, Brough, near Kirkby Stephen, yesterday morning.

The 49-year-old woman was found near to a farm on a public route surrounded by fields and hills just before 8am.

A man, said to be local, was arrested and taken to be questioned in the city by detectives from north Cumbria. He was still in custody today.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Johnson, the north of the county’s most senior detective, is leading the investigation.

He told the News & Star this morning that a post mortem examination had been carried out but the woman had yet to be formally identified.

It is understood she is not from Brough.

A major investigation was launched following the discovery just outside the market town, not far from Appleby.

Police said the death was being treated as suspicious and unexplained. Officers immediately began work to formally identify the woman and inform her family.

Nearly 20 police officers were drafted into the investigation, including seven detective constables, five uniformed officers and three forensic investigators.

Residents said it appeared police had seized two vehicles.

It is believed these vehicles are at the centre of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. No weapons were recovered.

The lane, running from one end to Middleton, has an entrance from the centre of the town and another from its edge. Both entrances were cordoned off.

Police tape acted as a barrier and uniformed officers in marked vehicles stood guard to protect the scene.

They also took statements off passers-by, asking them if they might have any information.

A white forensic tent could be seen covering the body in the lane.

Officers wearing white forensic suits could be seen carrying out their investigations in the distance.

A Home Office pathologist was also at the scene. At 2.35pm, a private ambulance took the body away.

The cordon stayed in place throughout the morning and much of the afternoon, finally being lifted at about 4pm.

DCI Johnson added: “Police and ambulance control got a call reporting a deceased person lying in the lane.

“Initial inquiries suggested it was suspicious. Further inquiries led us to arrest a 48-year-old man.”

Residents spoke of their shock but most said they had been unaware of anything happening until seeing the police vehicles.

One man living close to the cordon said: “I got up this morning and saw some police officers were here.

“I spoke to my wife and she said a woman had been found.

“This is sleepy old Brough. Things like this just don’t happen here.”

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