Murder probe launched as woman’s body found after fire in flat

A murder investigation has been launched after a woman's body was found when firefighters battled a blaze inside a flat.

Police believe the fire inside the flat in suburban Leicester may have been deliberately started, a senior officer says.

The emergency services were called to the scene in the Highfields area of Leicester just after 7am on Easter Sunday.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and found the 27-year-old woman's body inside the property.

Leicestershire Police are treating the woman's death as a murder due to their suspicion that the blaze was arson, and have now appealed for information and dashcam footage from the public.

The force is interested in speaking to potential witnesses who "saw or heard anything untoward" at the location between 1pm on Saturday and 7.30am on Sunday.

A cordon remained in place on Monday.

No-one has been arrested.

A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: "Police have launched a murder investigation following a fire at a flat at the junction of Mere Road and Diseworth Street in Leicester.

"Officers were called to the property, in the Highfields area of the city, by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service shortly after 7am yesterday (Sunday 21 April).

"The fire was extinguished and the body of a 27-year-old woman was found inside the flat.

"A cordon remains in place at the property.

"No-one has been arrested in connection with the incident."

Police have appealed for information from the public.

Detective Chief Inspector Michelle Keen, from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) Major Crime team, said: “From enquiries carried out so far, we believe that the fire may have been started deliberately.

“We are, therefore, treating this as a murder investigation and a cordon remains in place at the property in Mere Road.

“I would ask anyone who saw or heard anything untoward at this location between 1pm on Saturday and 7.30am yesterday – and who has not yet spoken to police – to come forward with any information that you have.

“Were you driving through the area or visiting the location yesterday morning?

"Maybe you were going to worship nearby?

"You may have information that could greatly assist my investigation and police would like to speak to you.

“If you were driving through the area and have a dash cam installed in your vehicle or have CCTV installed at your property, please also make contact.”

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