Salcombe body: Murder investigation launched after woman's remains found in Devon

Mee Kuen Chong's body was found in Salcombe last month.

A murder investigation has been launched and an arrest made following the discovery of a woman’s body in Salcombe.

Mee Kuen Chong, 67, was found in an area of woodland near to Bennett Road in Salcombe, South Devon on Monday 27 June.

Mee - who was known to friends as Deborah - had been reported missing from her home in London on Friday 11 June.

Her death was initially treated as unexplained. A post-mortem examination has been carried out but a cause of death has not yet been ascertained.

It is understood her body had been decapitated before it was discovered by members of the public.

But on Tuesday 6 July, the Metropolitan Police's specialist crime command unit launched a murder investigation following enquiries in Devon and London.

Mee Kuen Chong, who was known to friends as Deborah.

A 36-year-old woman was arrested at a residential address in Kilburn on suspicion of murder. She remains in custody at a north London police station.

A crime scene remains in place at the address and within South Devon, and police searches are likely to continue there over the coming days.

Mee was originally from Malaysia but has been living in Wembley for more than 30 years. Her family has been updated about this development and are being supported by specially-trained officers.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who is leading the murder investigation, said: “The discovery of Mee’s body is a tragic development and my thoughts are with her family and friends.

“At this stage, we are working on establishing the full circumstances surrounding Mee’s death and in particular her movements. I would ask anyone who saw her between Thursday, 10 June and Sunday, 27 June either in London or Devon, who has not yet spoken to police, to please come forward.

The body was found in wooded area in Salcombe.

“It is absolutely vital that anyone who may have information about Mee’s movements over this period share what they know to help us fully understand what happened to her.”

As is standard procedure, the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards were informed following the discovery of Mee’s body. A referral has also been made to the IOPC. 

An incident room has been set up. Anyone with information should call 0208 358 0300. Alternatively, information can be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.