Blackpool 'murder': Police officially name victim and say she and suspect were 'known to each other'

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The victim of a 'murder' in Blackpool has been officially named by police and is understood to have known her alleged attacker.

She is Marlene McCabe, 71, who was found dead suffering from "serious head and facial injuries" inside her family home in West Park Drive, near Stanley Park, shortly before 6pm yesterday, Lancashire Police said.

Police at the scene this morning

Police at the scene this morning

In a statement, the force said it believes Mrs McCabe and the 25-year-old man arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder knew each other.

He remained in custody this afternoon where he was being quizzed by murder squad detectives.

A post-mortem examination is to be carried out by a Home Office pathologist "in due course" to work out a cause of death, police added.

Temporary Det Ch Insp Zoe Russo, from Lancashire Police's major investigations team, said: "These are tragic circumstances and my thoughts are very much with Marlene McCabe and her family.

Police at the scene today

Police at the scene today

“They are being supported by specially trained officers at this extremely difficult and distressing time.

“While we have made an arrest, we are continuing with our enquiries and would ask anyone with information relevant to the investigation to come forward.

“It is believed both parties were known to each other and I would like to reassure the community there is no wider threat.

“I would also like to thank residents in the area for their support and patience while we continue our investigation.”

Lancashire Police, which declined a request from the press to interview somebody connected to the case, said the man arrested was held at 6pm.

When asked whether any weapons had been recovered, a spokesman said the matter was "forming part of the investigation".

He said officers were called out by the ambulance service, which said it took a call at 5.47pm.

Elizabeth Davies, 75, of Gorse Road, said: "It's unbelievable what has gone on and I just can't understand how someone has been murdered on West Park Drive."

She said there had been speculation around the identity of the alleged victim, though police had this morning yet to formally name her or say how old she was.

Rebecca Moore, 43, of Westwood Drive, added: "It's a quiet community despite the busy road. It's just so sad to hear what has happened."

And Darren Butler, 36, also of Gorse Road, said: "When I came home from work there was police everywhere and it looked like a manhunt was happening. Then the helicopter came out.

"I didn't realise someone had been killed until I saw it online, but you knew something serious had happened.

"I don't know who has been killed and don't know who lives there either, but they are nice houses round here so you just can't imagine it taking place here."

Lancashire Police this morning said the helicopter, which was seen hovering above the area with its searchlight on, had flown across from Yorkshire on an unrelated matter, though it did not say what it was.