A murder investigation has been launched after a mother-of-two from Chelmsford was found dead in a house in Wales.

Sarah Hassall, 38, died in Llys Graig Ty Wion in Pontypridd, on Sunday 6 October.

A family statement said: “After growing up in the family home in Chelmsford, Sarah dedicated herself to 14 years of military service in both the RAF and the Royal Engineers.

“Her career was dominated by her commitment to mountain search and rescue – Sarah represented her units at both rock climbing competitions and competitive running.

“Sarah left the army in 2010 to embark on, and excel at, even greater challenges - raising two young boys, Owain and Evan.

“Sarah was my best friend and touched many more lives along the way. We all now mourn her passing, grateful for the short time we had in her company.”

South Wales Police said her death is being treated as murder.

A 37 year-old man from Pontypridd has been arrested and remains in police custody.