UPDATE: Man arrested in connection with East Ashling murder has been bailed

THE 45-year old Selsey man who was arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of a woman was found at a house in East Ashling, has been bailed.

The arrest was made on Monday (January 28), and he has been released on conditional police bail until Thursday, February 21, while enquiries continue.

Police officers were called to Cherry Tree Cottage in East Ashling at 7.59am by the ambulance service on Monday morning.

They had attended a report of the occupant, now formally identified as 44-year old Debbie Levey, who had been found dead in the house by a colleague who had arrived to take her to work.

Detective chief inspector Ian Pollard from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who is leading the investigation, said: “While initially it was thought that we were dealing with a sudden death, officers became increasingly suspicious of the circumstances. At this stage our enquiries lead us to believe that this may not have been a natural death and a murder enquiry was launched on Monday.”

A postmortem took place at St Richards Hospital mortuary in Chichester on Monday, but no obvious cause of death was found. Further forensic tests will now be carried out.

The man who was arrested and bailed is known to Debbie.

Ian Pollard said: “The last time that Debbie was seen to be alive was at her home at 12.30pm on Sunday 29 January. We would like to hear from anyone who saw her or was in contact with her after that time up until Monday morning.

“We would also still like to hear from anyone who was in the East Ashling area on Sunday afternoon or early evening and who saw a blue Vauxhall Vectra parked in a small lay-by just across the road from Cherry Tree Cottage.

“If you can help please call us on 101 quoting Operation Dive. You can also call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

See tomorrow’s Observer (January 31) for a full report.