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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 19:40 GMT
Family pay tribute to stabbed Pc
Pc Melissa Ward
PC Ward was six months away from graduating to full officer status
The family of a Leicestershire policewoman found stabbed to death in her home have spoken of their grief.

Probationary officer Melissa Ward, 28, was discovered dead at her flat in Oakham, Rutland, along with partner Benedict Marlow, 33, on Friday.

Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

In a statement Melissa's family said they were "utterly devastated at the loss of a loving and loveable daughter and sister, dedicated to her job".

"She'll be greatly missed by her family, friends and colleagues and we request the press and media respect the privacy of the family throughout this difficult time," they added.

Concern raised

Post-mortem examinations found both died from stab wounds.

Officers were called to the flat at The Sidings shortly before 1800 GMT, after members of her family raised concern for Melissa's welfare.

Police said Mr Marlow, from the West Midlands area, was thought to have been staying with the officer at the time of the incident.

The last confirmed sighting of the couple was in the early hours of New Year's Day.

The force is experiencing a great sense of loss
Chief Constable Matt Baggott

Chief Constable Matt Baggott paid tribute to the officer, who joined the force 18 months ago.

He said: "The death of a colleague is a terrible shock and the force is experiencing a great sense of loss.

"Although she was young in service ... Melissa had enjoyed a successful career and was greatly respected by her colleagues."

"Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues. Everything possible is being, and will continue to be, done to ensure they receive the support they need at this difficult and distressing time."

Ms Ward, who was based at Welford Road police station, was six months away from graduating to full police officer status.

She had not worked since before Christmas and was due back on the Leicester city beat next week.

Police said the investigation into the full circumstances surrounding the deaths was continuing.

Family of stabbed police officer pay their tributes

Police officer stabbed to death
06 Jan 07 |  Leicestershire

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