Murder investigation after elderly woman is found dead in Havant

Police officers at Athena Avenue. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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TWO men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after the death of a woman in her 80s.

Police were called to a house in Sherfield Avenue, Leigh Park, at about 6am on Saturday.

A murder investigation is underway in Havant

A murder investigation is underway in Havant

The body of a woman in her 80s was found. An 80-year-old man was arrested in the house, and later a 55-year-old man was arrested elsewhere in Havant. They are being questioned at different police stations in Hampshire.

Detectives say the circumstances surrounding the death are suspicious.

A neighbour said: ‘I’m in complete shock. We knew something had happened because we saw lots of police and a white tent outside.

It’s awful. It’s a lovely family. I see her husband walking his little white terrier. I think she was very frail. You would sometimes see her at the gate but never any further. What a tragedy.’

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Darren Rawlings of the Hampshire Major Investigation Team said: ‘I’d like to reassure residents and visitors in Leigh Park that our initial inquiries suggest there is no wider risk to the community.

‘Members of the public may notice an increase in the number of uniformed and plain-clothes police in the Sherfield Avenue area this weekend.

‘These officers are working on routine enquiries for a case of this type to ensure we gather all available evidence as quickly as possible. This includes forensic searches inside the house in Sherfield Avenue.

‘A Home Office post-mortem examination is due to be held today (Saturday) to help establish the cause of death.

‘Police are in the process of informing next-of-kin and won’t be in a position to identify the woman in the media until all formal identification procedures are completed.’

Det Chf Insp Rawlings has appealed for anyone who saw anything unusual in Sherfield Avenue late last night or early this morning to get in touch.

‘Police would like to thank members of the public for their understanding and co-operation during our enquiries so far,’ he added.

Anyone who can help can call Fratton CID on 101. The investigation has been given the codename Operation Opaline.