NEIGHBOURS spoke of their shock yesterday after a murder investigation was launched following the death of a middle-aged woman at her Northumberland home.
The 52-year-old victim was pronounced dead at the scene after police officers and paramedics were called to the house in Cramlington at about 4.20am.
She was found inside the mid-terrace property in Byrness Row, a cul-de-sac on the town’s Eastfield Grange Estate.
A 56-year-old man was arrested at the address on suspicion of murder and was being questioned by Northumbria Police officers last night.
The occupants of the house were named locally as married couple Alan and Christine Baker, who have lived there for more than 15 years and are tenants of housing company Homes for Northumberland.
Police vehicles remained outside the property yesterday afternoon and forensic officers were continuing to carry out investigations inside. Northumbria Police have not yet revealed the cause of the woman’s death.
Neighbours said Mr and Mrs Baker have lived in Byrness Row for about 18 years, and news of the death came as a massive shock. They said Mr Baker used to work as a block paver but had to give up the job after developing a shoulder problem.
Neighbours realised something was wrong when they woke up yesterday to extensive police activity in the cul-de-sac.
One woman said: “This has come as a complete shock to me because Alan and Christine are just a normal couple, who didn’t cause any problems.
“Alan had to retire from work because of his bad shoulder, and they mainly stayed in and kept themselves to themselves.”
A male neighbour said: “I’ve lived here for 12 years and they were here before me. Alan is a bit disabled and neither of them work. They hardly ever went out, except to do the shopping, and I was really shocked to hear what has “It is a tragic situation and all my sympathies go to the people living in that area, which has had its fair share of troubles.”
Northumbria Police Chief Supt, Diane Winship, said: “We understand this incident may have caused concern for the local community and I would like to reassure residents that there is no risk to members of the public.
“This incident happened inside a property and those involved are believed to be known to each other.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.