A large section of a marina has been closed off by more than 60 police officers after a woman in her 80s was murdered there last night.
The body was discovered in her home in Atlantic Close, Ocean Village by family members at around 7.55pm.
A 37-year-old local man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
A wide area around the address has been cordoned off to enable specialist officers to search for and secure any potential evidence that may be linked to the woman’s death.
Immediate family are aware but other close relatives have still to be notified and formal identification procedures are still to be completed.
A post-mortem examination is expected to be conducted sometime later today by a Home Office Pathologist to establish the exact cause of death.
One local resident, James Raven, told ITV Meridian last night that police officers had been searching gardens.
"They didn't say what they were looking for but four or five of them with torches were scanning the pathway and looking in wheelie bins. Police tape has been put across two roads and local residents are being escorted to their homes but no cars have been allowed to drive up or down the road - apart from police cars. I have never know anything like it in Ocean Village."
– JAMES RAVEN, LOCAL RESIDENT
Officers are appealing for anyone to contact them who may have seen anything unusual or suspicious in the area of Ocean Way, Pacific Close and Atlantic Close anytime between Thursday, August 16, when contact was last made with the woman, up to the early evening of Saturday, August 18.
Detective Superintendent Rachel Farrell who is leading the investigation said: “I would like to reassure residents and those who visit this area that this is an extremely rare incident which is expected to have a huge impact on the local community. There is a significant police presence in the area and this is likely to remain over the coming days. This may cause some disruption to local residents and we therefore ask for their support and understanding.
“Due to the waterfront location of the address, we would extend our appeal to the transient boating and sailing community who may have attended the Cowes Week celebrations on Friday or sailed into or out of Ocean Village during the weekend, as they may have seen something, no matter how insignificant it might appear to be, that will assist us.
“We have a dedicated team of more than 60 police officers involved in the investigation who are conducting searches, completing house to house enquiries and following up other lines of enquiry.
“I would appeal to anyone who has information that will assist us with our investigation to contact us.”
Anyone with information should contacting the Major Investigation Team at Southampton Central police station on 101 or the Crimestoppers charity line anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting Operation Anglian.