From Devon & Cornwall Police:
Police were called at around 4pm on Saturday 18 February following reports of a woman having been seriously assaulted by a man in possession of a knife in Ludwell Valley Park, in the Wonford area of Exeter.
Emergency services attended, but meantime, despite the best efforts of the public who came to her aid, a 74-year-old woman who was local to the area tragically died at the scene; her next of kin have been informed and her loved ones are being supported by specialist officers.
Chief Superintendent Dan Evans said: “Following a police appeal, an off-duty police officer spotted the suspect in the High Street in Exeter yesterday evening. The suspect was safely detained by armed officers outside the Yorkshire Building Society on Exeter High Street, just after 9:30pm on Saturday 18 February.
“A 30-year-old man from the Exmouth area has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody, and at this time we do not know the motive for the attack.
“We do not currently believe that the victim and suspect are known to each other and we are not currently seeking anyone else in connection to this murder, which is being treated as an isolated incident.”
Superintendent Tom Holmes, said: “Whilst this is a positive update, a major response remains in place and our investigation into this murder continues.
“Now that we have a man in custody, 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 to this offence.”
“Whilst this type of incident is very rare, Wonford is a very close community and I know this death will be felt deeply by all who live in the area”.
Supt Holmes added: “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, that you contact us immediately.
“If you have yet to have spoken to us and have information that relates to this investigation, please call 999 quoting log number 600 18 February.
“Our thoughts are with the family and the loved ones of the victim, and we will continue to do all we can to support them during this tragic time.”
Police create Major Public Incident Reporting Page in this case:
Police have created a Major Incident Public Reporting (MIPP) page as part of the investigation.
The MIPP allows members of the public who may have information to directly send large files such as Doorbell, CCTV and Dashcam footage that could assist in a police investigation.
Detective Sergeant Darren Campbell from the Major Crime Team said: “We have received a huge amount of information from the public in relation to this crime, but there are still large parts of the day that we need to account for, both pre and post the attack.
“We are asking for anyone who has CCTV, doorbell, phone footage or dashcam of the area that could be of interest to the investigative team, to please submit this via the MIPP.
“You can also report any information that you may have in relation to this murder, not solely footage.”
Anyone with any information is asked to report this to Devon and Cornwall Police via the Major Incident Public Reporting site, under Operation Finnart.
The website can be found here: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/50DC22S02-PO1.