A female police detective whose body was found in woodland near Lurgashall died from a blow to the head and a stab wound to the throat, police said today (Wednesday, October 19).
The post-mortem results for Detective Constable Heather Cooper came as police revealed that a baseball bat and a knife were found at the home of the mother-of-two in West Street, Haslemere, Surrey.
Her partner, Peter Foster, a former police detective, was arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.
A Surrey Police spokeswoman said: “A post-mortem examination has given a preliminary cause of death in the investigation into the murder of Surrey Police detective Heather Cooper.
“The examination, which was carried out yesterday at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, gave the preliminary cause as blunt force trauma to the head and incised wound to the throat.
“Police have recovered a knife and a baseball bat from the property in West Street in Haslemere.”
The body of the 33-year-old was discovered in Blackdown Woods near Lurgashall, after concerns were raised for her safety on Sunday night.
Mother-of-two Miss Cooper joined Surrey Police eight years ago and in 2009 was given a commendation by the force in recognition of her “professionalism, dedication and commitment”.
She was on maternity leave at the time of her death.
Police cordoned off the area of National Trust woodland where her body was found while forensic officers carried out their investigations.
The detached house in Haslemere, Surrey, where Miss Cooper lived was also cordoned off as teams examined the property.
Dominique Chapman, 44, who lives opposite the couple, said: “They were a very close family, they went out as a family, at the weekends - they have two small children. Heather did not come from round here but Peter did, they had only been living here for about a year.
“I cannot believe this has happened.”
An elderly neighbour in West Street, who did not want to be named, confirmed that Miss Cooper had given birth to her second child about a month ago and she believed she was still on maternity leave.
She said: “It’s so sad when such young children are involved, poor little souls.”
A Surrey Police spokesman said that detectives were hoping to trace witnesses who saw a silver BMW estate car in the area of West Street, Haslemere, and Tennyson’s Lane near the Blackdown Woods car park between 11am and 11pm on Sunday.
He added: “A 35-year-old man from Haslemere arrested on suspicion of murder remains in police custody.”