Murder hunt begins after firefighters find body

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The Independent Online
Police in Sussex launched a murder inquiry yesterday after a woman's body was found in a house by firefighters.

Police said it was thought that the woman had died from head injuries. She was discovered in the upstairs of a house in Brighton, East Sussex. A spokeswoman said there had been a fire at the house which had caused some damage, but detectives were confident that the woman had not died as a result of the fire. They have yet to identify the woman but neighbours said she had two children - a boy of about five and another aged nine.

A police spokesman said officers were still trying to trace the woman's relatives and a post-mortem examination was being carried out. A positive identification is not expected until today.

The house where the body was found stands in the middle of a warren of terraced houses, many of them boarded up or vandalised with graffiti. Neighbours said most of the houses and flats in the area were rented either by students or benefit claimants.