Police arrest man during major manhunt following elderly woman’s death

A woman in her 70s has tragically died following a horrific daylight attack in a park today. Police were called to Ludwell Valley Park in Wonford, Exeter around 4pm this afternoon following reports of a woman having been “seriously assaulted”. Emergency services rushed to the park, but the local woman in her 70s was declared dead at the scene.

Her next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

Devon and Cornwall Police subsequently launched a manhunt for the suspect as well as a murder investigation following the attack.

They had urged members of the public not to approach the man, saying he could be “armed and dangerous”.

Following the police appeal, a man in his 30s from the Exmouth area was arrested by armed officers outside the Yorkshire Building Society on Exeter High Street.

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The suspect’s arrest took place just after 9:30 pm this evening.

Following the arrest, Superintendent Tom Holmes said: “While this is a positive update, a major response remains in place and our investigation into this murder continues.

“Tonight we issued an image of a man we needed to identify.

“Now that we have a man in custody we no longer need the public to share this appeal; please do not speculate on the identity of the suspect or the circumstances surrounding this matter.

“A heightened police presence will remain across key areas of Exeter, including the Wonford area where a number of cordons remain in place.

“We are currently not looking for anyone else in connection with this offense

“Even though we have a man in custody, this doesn’t mean that we are no longer appealing for information.

“It is vital that if you have any information relating to this incident, you contact us immediately.

Earlier tonight, a local mum told DevonLive: “It’s shocking and quite terrifying. Some people are saying there were 30 armed police with dogs going into the field this afternoon.

“There are terrible rumors flying around about what happened. I hope they are not true.”

Another eyewitness said: “I saw several police cars up Burnthouse Lane. I went into Ludwell Valley Park not knowing what was going on then I then saw there were armed police everywhere.

“I then saw that half of the park was cordoned off to the public and I saw police guarding the main walkway to Ludwell Hill and an Air Ambulance taking off.

“I then left the scene and saw several other police cars making their way.”

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