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Appeal for information over cattery owner murder

The body of Diana Lee, 54, was discovered in her home. Photo: Greater Manchester Police

Detectives investigating the murder of a woman found dead in her East Cheshire home by firefighters are appealing for the public's help.

The body of Diana Lee, 54, was discovered in her home in Byley Lane, in the village of Cranage, near Holmes Chapel, at around 11am last Thursday.

Mrs Lee - the owner of a luxury cattery - had died from head injuries and was found in the garage of her home by fire crews called to tackle a blaze there.

Detective Inspector Steve Beddows, from Cheshire Police's Major Investigation Team, said: "We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who saw any activity in the vicinity of the home address of Mrs Lee on the morning of Thursday August 9 before the arrival of the emergency services at 11am.

"We also appeal to anyone who may have seen a man acting suspiciously near to a silver (Vauxhall) Corsa in Smith Lane, Mobberley, which was later identified as belonging to the victim and had been taken from her house."

The car had been set alight, police said.

It is understood that Mrs Lee operated the popular Parklands Cattery, where cats were accommodated in a lap of luxury, with separate rooms and their own television and stereos.

A 48-year-old man, from Hale in Manchester, was arrested on suspicion of murder. He has since been released on police bail pending further investigations.

Detectives are also keen to trace any members of the public who saw a man cycle off on a pushbike from Smith Lane, where the car was abandoned, towards Pepper Street in Mobberley between 10am and 11am that day.

Anyone with information should contact the Major Investigation Team on 101, quoting incident number 285 on August 9 2012. Information can also be given anonymously be contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.