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Woman arrested in Helmshore murder investigation

A 34-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Photo: Dave Brown/ITV News Granada Reports

Police investigating the murder of a 60-year-old woman in Helmshore, Rossendale, say a 34-year-old woman from Chester has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

The victim, who has not yet been formally identified but is believed to be Sadie Hartley, was found with a number of knife wounds at her home on Sunny Bank Road late on Friday evening, January 15.

A post-mortem examination confirmed the cause of death as multiple stab wounds.

A 34-year-woman remains in police custody.

Police have identified a vehicle and a number of people they would like to trace.

Sadie Hartley is last known to have made contact with a work colleague on Thursday evening, January 14. She had not been heard from since.

CCTV footage reportedly shows a Renault Clio driving into Sunny Bank Road and leaving around a minute later. It also shows a man walking out of the cul-de-sac towards the village store and Holcombe Road where he passed another person who was walking in the opposite direction. The footage also shows a jogger running into the cul-de-sac just moments later.

Detectives believe these people may have vital information about the incident.

Police patrols and house-to-house enquiries will continue in the local area as well as searches of the area around the house. Forensic examinations are continuing in the house.

We are making steady progress with this complex investigation with an arrest being made overnight.

I would continue to urge anyone with information who has not yet come forward to do so as soon as possible to help us build up a clear picture of Sadie’s final movements and any suspicious activity in the area.

We now know there was a Renault Clio car and at least three people all on Sunny Bank Road at around 8pm on Thursday 14 January. We believe that this could be around the time that she was murdered and we want to trace these people as soon as possible.

We also know that this area is regularly used by dog walkers so we are keen to speak to anyone who frequently uses the route along Sunny Bank Road and may have seen anything out of the ordinary in the days and weeks preceding the murder.

Any information you have could be important for our investigation and finding out exactly what happened to Sadie. Call us on 101 quoting incident reference 1481 of January 15th.

– Detective Superintendent Paul Withers, Force Major Investigation Team

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