Weymouth murder probe: Boy, 16, held

Dorset Echo: Police officers at the flat in Benville Road, Weymouth Police officers at the flat in Benville Road, Weymouth

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy is being held on suspicion of murder after a woman was found stabbed to death in Weymouth.

Police were called to Fiveways Court in Benville Road on Saturday afternoon after the body was discovered.

Police have not named the victim but say she was known to the youth.

A massive manhunt was launched along with the force helicopter whilst armed officers and sniffer dogs attended the scene.

Armed police drafted in to cover Olympic security scoured the area in a search for the youngster who is believed to have fled following the alleged incident.

The teenage suspect was later detained on Portland on Saturday afternoon.

Police set up checkpoints around the area and checked cars going onto and leaving the island.

Detective Inspector Marcus Hester, of Dorset Police ’s Major Crime Team, said: “I can confirm that Dorset Police has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the deceased woman.

“A 16-year-old local boy has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is helping officers with their inquiries.

“As a result, members of the public may have noticed increased police activity within the Weymouth area.

“This incident is not connected to the Olympic preparations currently ongoing in Weymouth and Portland.”

Police set up a cordon outside the block of flats where the murder allegedly took place and residents were told they could not enter.

The cordon remained yesterday with a police officer checking residents in and out.

Vehicles in the communal car park at the back of the block were unable to be moved.

Around 30 police officers were involved in the ongoing investigation.

One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: “We had no idea what was going on.

“The police wouldn’t tell us anything. We were not allowed back in and some of the residents were stuck inside.

“The ambulance crew went in for about half an hour, but came back out with nothing, so we thought it must be a death.

“We get a bit of trouble, but this is the first time anything like this has happened here.”

Another said: “I was out and I heard the helicopter and all these sirens and thought: ‘I wonder where that’s going?’ “Then I came back and saw it was going on here.

“I was shocked.”

Mark Robbens of Lanehouse said: “I was walking home on Saturday when all these police cars suddenly pulled up around the flats.

“It was obvious something major was going on. But everyone was in total shock when it was revealed that a teenager had been arrested and a woman was dead. It is all so terrible.”

A major forensic hunt went on throughout the day yesterday as police searched for clues.

Officers scoured neighbouring gardens for clues, checked under parked vehicles in the road and made door to door enquiries.

A fingertip search of a building site opposite the flats was carried out and officers checked the drains in Benville Road yesterday. Forensic teams examined the window of the flat for clues.

A Dorset Police spokesman said: “A local 16-year-old boy is still assisting detectives with their enquiries and a forensic search is still ongoing, with 30 officers involved in the investigation.

“A Home Office pathologist is performing a post-mortem on the victim.

“Family liaison officers are interacting with the deceased woman’s family. Her identity cannot be released at this time as no formal positive identification has taken place yet.”

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