Murder update: victim named

Stock picture of a police officer on the beat to go with story about levels of fitness among Lancashire police officers
Stock picture of a police officer on the beat to go with story about levels of fitness among Lancashire police officers

Detectives have named a woman they believe to be the victim of a murder after the discovery of a body at a house last night (Friday).

Officers attended the address on Sunny Bank Road, Helmshore, with paramedics following reports of concern for the welfare of a woman. A 60 year-old woman was found inside with a number of knife wounds and pronounced dead at the address.

At this time it is believed that the woman is Sadie Hartley, but formal identification is yet to take place. A post mortem examination to establish the cause of death will take place in due course.

Detectives are treating the death as a murder and are following a number of lines of enquiry to establish how the victim came about her injuries and the circumstances that led to her death. No arrests have been made at this time.

It is thought that Sadie was last seen alive on Thursday, January 14th, in Manchester at a conference with a colleague. She is believed to have returned home and last made contact with family on Thursday evening.

An employee of Sadie’s called police on Friday evening at around 10-40pm after concerns that she had not been in touch that day, which was unusual.

A scene remains in place at the house.

Det. Supt Andy Murphy of the Force Major Investigation Team (FMIT) said: “We are in the early stages of our enquiries and are working to establish exactly how Sadie has come about these injuries. We have a large team of detectives dedicated to following all lines of enquiry.

“Specialist officers are supporting Sadie’s family at this difficult time.

“I would urge anyone with information about Sadie’s death to please get in contact with us at your earliest opportunity. Any information you have could be vital for our investigation. Call us on 101 quoting incident reference 1481 of January 15th.

“There are additional neighbourhood officers in the area today as well to offer support to any local residents.”

Alternatively anyone with information can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.