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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 January 2008, 15:53 GMT
Ex-offenders quizzed over murder
Police at Kiln Lane
About 30 officers have been working on the investigation
Ex-offenders living at a hostel close to where an elderly woman was found dead will be questioned as part of the murder investigation, police said.

The body of the 77-year-old was found at a house in the Hampshire village of Otterbourne on Friday evening.

No-one from nearby Elderfield House is being treated as a suspect but residents will be spoken to during house-to-house inquiries, police said.

A spokeswoman also stressed they had not made any arrests.

Some 30 police officers are involved in the inquiry after the discovery of the body at the house in Kiln Lane.

A post-mortem examination was being carried out on Saturday. There are unconfirmed reports the woman had been stabbed.

We have no one arrested and no suspects
Police spokeswoman

Scenes of crimes officers spent the night at the scene and police are to carry out house-to-house inquiries.

Searches of the property were conducted by specialist officers on Saturday and Kiln Lane, which links the villages of Otterbourne and Brambridge, has been cordoned off.

Elderfield House, also on Kiln Lane, is a hostel for ex-offenders, run by Christian charity The Langley House Trust.

"We have no reason to suspect at this time anyone from Elderfield is responsible," a spokeswoman for the police said.

"We have no one arrested and no suspects."

She said the woman lived alone at the house and had a grown up son who lived nearby. She was last seen on Friday.

'Tremendous loss'

Local councillor Richard Oldham said the close-knit community had been left in shock by the incident.

Mr Oldham, chairman of Otterbourne Parish Council, said: "It's not the place you would normally expect this type of incident to happen."

He added: "It's a fairly small... very peaceful community with a history of not a lot happening."

Det Supt Shirley Dinnell, leading the investigation, said: "This kind of crime is very rare in Hampshire and even more unusual in a rural area such as this.

"We need to find who was responsible for the murder as soon as possible."

Prayers will be said at a local church on Sunday. The Reverend Alan Gordon said he and his congregation will be remembering those affected.

"We will be in touch with the parish representatives to convey our sympathies," he said.

Police at the scene of the crime

Body of woman, 77, found in house
12 Jan 08 |  Hampshire

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