Woman, 74, who died in Exeter park attacked with a knife, police say

19 February 2023, 16:40 | Updated: 20 February 2023, 00:01

A woman, 74, who died in a park in Exeter was the victim of a knife attack, police have said.
A woman, 74, who died in a park in Exeter was the victim of a knife attack, police have said. Picture: LBC

By Chris Samuel

A woman, 74, who died in a park in Exeter was the victim of a knife attack, police have said.

Officers in Devon say they detained a man, 30, in the city centre around 9.30pm on Saturday.

Officers were called at around 4pm earlier that day following reports of a woman having been seriously assaulted with a knife in Ludwell Valley Park, in Wonford, Exeter.

Emergency services attended but she was declared dead at the scene. Her next of kin were informed.

Chief Superintendent Dan Evans said: "We do not currently believe that the victim and suspect are known to each other and we are not currently seeking anyone else in connection to this murder, which is being treated as an isolated incident."

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That evening, Police launched a search for a suspect who was captured on CCTV and later spotted by an off-duty police officer.

The suspect was arrested by armed police on Exeter High Street just after 9.30pm on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.

Police at the scene in Wonford, Exeter.
Police at the scene in Wonford, Exeter. Picture: LBC

Ch Supt Evans said that there would be "a heightened police presence in the city over the next few days".

He added: "We are still searching the Wonford area as part of our investigation, we believe we may have located the knife believed to have been used in the attack and are retrieving this as we speak.

"Whilst we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this offence, it is vital that anyone with any information contacts us immediately.

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"Whilst this type of incident is very rare, Wonford is a very close community and I know this death will be felt deeply by all who live in the area.

"My thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the victim at this tragic time. We will be supporting them over the coming days and weeks with specially trained officers."

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