Second arrest in businesswoman murder probe

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Police are questioning a second woman following the murder of a businesswoman in Helmshore.

A 55-year-old woman was arrested in Chester yesterday afternoon on suspicion of murder following the knife attack on mum-of-three Sadie Hartley (60) at her home.

And a 34-year-old woman from Chester, arrested on Sunday in connection with the death, is still in custody.

Ms Hartley, who ran a medical communications business in Chester, was found stabbed to death in the hallway of her Sunny Bank Road home on Friday evening, although police believe she may have been killed the previous evening.

Her partner, an ex-fireman, was abroad on a skiing holiday at the time and police have said he is not a suspect but that Ms Hartley died in a “targeted attack” whose motive remains unclear.

Police are still searching for the murder weapon.

Detective Superintendent Paul Withers thanked the public for their help with the investigation and added: “The exact motive for this horrific murder remains unclear at this time but we are continuing to make steady progress and I would urge people to help us with our further lines of inquiry today.”

Police want to identify a person seen passing a man as he walked out of Sunny Bank Road on Thursday evening and an unknown person who walked into the cul-de-sac, leaving minutes later.

They also want to trace the driver of an old style Renault Clio car seen arriving in Sunny Bank Road just before 8pm on the same night, and drove off moments later.

Mr Withers added the police were also keen to hear from anyone who may have information about people asking for the location of Sunny Bank Road in days or weeks leading up to the murder.

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting incident reference 1481 of January 15, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.