A MAN was being held on suspicion of murder last night after a 55-year-old woman was found stabbed in an Oxford caravan park.
Police were called to Prospect Park in Horspath at 2am yesterday by a 999 call from a worried neighbour.
The victim, who yesterday had not been named, was declared dead at the scene. A 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and was last night still being quizzed by detectives.
A post mortem examination to establish the cause of the woman’s death was still taking place last night but initial indications were she had been stabbed, said a police spokesman.
The spokesman confirmed a weapon was recovered but would not say what it was.
Detectives also refused to comment on the relationship between the victim and the arrested man, except to say the pair were known to each other but not related.
Yesterday police were only allowing residents onto the 21-berth site as a forensic team scoured it for clues.
The centre of their investigation focused on caravan 1A, which the latest electoral records list as being the home of a Stewart Dale.
Paul Lucas, who lives in the static caravan next door, was away on holiday when he heard his neighbour’s home had become the scene of a murder investigation.
Referring to his neighbour, he said: “He was always very friendly.
“He never seemed to have any close friends.
“He loved Irish music.
“I’m in a state of shock at the moment.
“I would just like to know who the victim was.”
Davina Comley, who also lives on the site, said: “This came as a total shock.
“The police were still at the scene when we left this morning.”
Speaking of Mr Dale, Mrs Comley said: “He lives on his own.
“He’s a nice guy.
“He has lived there for a couple of years I think.
“He plays darts – he’s a keen player. He’s with one of the local teams.
“There’s no girlfriend that I’m aware of. He lives alone on the site.”
Ian Robbins, landlord of the Marsh Harrier, in Marsh Road, Cowley, said Mr Dale played darts for one of the pub’s teams every other Tuesday and worked at The Nelson pub in Cowley.
He said: “He kept himself to himself as far as I know.
“Both of his parents had died a little while ago and until they died he lived with them.”
A member of the staff at The Nelson, in Between Towns Road, yesterday said they could not comment because they had been visited by the police.
Stan Hawkeswood, landlord of The Queen’s Head in Church Road, Horspath, said: “This is bad news all round.
“Everybody knows everybody on the park because it is very small.”
Villagers said Mr Dale was known for wearing a brown flat cap.
Butts Road resident David Cooper, 75, whose house backs onto the mobile home park, said: “They are very pleasant people there. I didn’t hear anything last night.
“This has been a surprise. You don’t expect that this sort of thing will happen around here.”
Detectives are appealing for anyone with information about the woman’s death to contact them on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.