Neighbours tell of shock as murder probe launched

Police have taped off a property in Cherwell Way, Gorleston, where the body of a woman was discovered.

Police have taped off a property in Cherwell Way, Gorleston, where the body of a woman was discovered. Detectives are now treating the death as murder. - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

Neighbours have spoken of their “terrible shock” as a murder investigation was launched following the discovery of a woman’s body after a fire.

Police were called just before 9.10am on Friday (June 11) to assist firefighters following reports of a fire at an address in Cherwell Way, Gorleston.

The location of the house fire in Gorleston on Friday morning

Police and fire crews were called to a house fire in Gorleston-on-Sea on Friday morning - Credit: James Weeds

A woman, aged in her 60s, was found inside the property but she was declared deceased at the scene.

But a murder probe has been launched after a post-mortem examination found the woman, provisionally identified as Linda Hood, 68, died as a result of compression of the neck.

Police have taped off a property in Cherwell Way, Gorleston, where the body of a woman was discovered.

Police have taped off a property in Cherwell Way, Gorleston, where the body of a woman was discovered. Detectives are now treating the death as murder. - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

A 69-year-old neighbour, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she was “a lovely little lady”.

She said Linda “kept herself to herself” but recalled chatting to her when she put the bins out.

“It’s just a terrible thing to happen right next door.

“I just thought it was the smoke that killed her. 

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“It’s a terrible shock.”

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said it was “sad news”.

Floral tributes have been left close to the taped off property where the victim lived.

Floral tributes left near to property on Cherwell Way, Gorleston, where police have launched a murder probe.

Floral tributes left near to property on Cherwell Way, Gorleston, where police have launched a murder probe following death of a woman. - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

One of the messages on a bunch of flowers read “missing a lovely neighbour Linda”.

Another message read: “To little Linda, we hope you are at peace with the angels. God bless you.”

Detectives from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team have confirmed they are treating her death as murder.

Detective Inspector Lewis Craske said: "This is a tragic incident and my thoughts remain with her friends and family at this awful time.

"We continue to work alongside specialist investigators to establish the exact circumstances leading up to the fire and we are keen to speak with anyone who may be able to assist us with our enquiries."

Police are keen to speak to anyone who was in the Cherwell Way area on Thursday, June 10, and Friday, June 11, before the fire, or who may know something that could help.

Det Insp Craske said: ""We want to understand who Linda was and would like to hear from all those who knew her.

"We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have either dashcam or CCTV footage of the surrounding area."

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting incident number 100 of June 11, 2021 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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