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Mystery as body of woman in 70s found dead in Burford layby
DETECTIVES are trying to piece together how the body of a woman in her 70s was found yesterday in a layby next to a golf club.
Her remains were discovered by a motorist near the entrance to Burford Golf Club at around 7am prompting police to close the A361 for more than five hours while a large-scale investigation took place.
A blue police forensics tent was set up at the scene while more than 20 officers set to work examining the area.
A silver Jaguar was yesterday seen being towed away from inside the golf club. The car was covered up and the number plates had been taped over.
The road closure caused long delays for drivers during the morning rush hour.
The woman, who was in her 70s and is not from Oxfordshire, had not been formally identified last night and police were trying to trace relatives.
A post-mortem examination is due to take place today to determine how she died.
Burford residents were yesterday looking for answers as to how the woman came to die near their town.
Cotswold Gateway hotel owner Andrew Dearie yesterday said: “Burford is a sleepy Oxfordshire Cotswold town, but you just don’t know what happened.”
Burford resident Jacques Vanderwesthuizen said he was “shocked” by the discovery.
The 32-year-old said he found out about the incident from a friend in Australia – who used to live in Burford and saw the news online before most people in the town.
He said: “I was woken up by police sirens this morning but I didn’t know what happened at the time. I was shocked.
“Things like that don’t happen in Burford.”
Neil Owen, Oxfordshire County Council member for Burford, said he had been “saddened” by the news. He said: “The reaction is one of sadness and shock, for whoever she was. It is not altogether a surprise in this day and age.
“These kinds of things do happen – accidents, killings, murders – seem to be the norm almost, but I am saddened.”
Burford School student Andrew Hold, 18, yesterday said: “Friends have been trying to work out what happened.
“It was a shock to hear because it was just outside school and I haven’t heard of anything like that happening here.”
Fellow pupil Justin Everingham, 18, said: “It could have been something horrific, no-one knows yet. But it could have been something very bad.”
Investigating officer Det Sgt Kerry O’Leary, of Banbury CID, last night said the woman’s family had not been told about her death.
But she said police had so far ruled out foul play.
She said: “We are seeking to establish the full circumstances surrounding the woman’s death and have lines of inquiry which we are pursuing, but at this stage her death is not being treated as suspicious.
“We have yet to notify the woman’s next of kin and are continuing to make inquiries in order to locate them as soon as we possibly can.”
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