Dead woman was stabbed 16 times

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The Independent Online

A woman whose badly burnt body was found in a seafront shelter in Eastbourne had been stabbed 16 times in a frenzied attack, police said yesterday.

A woman whose badly burnt body was found in a seafront shelter in Eastbourne had been stabbed 16 times in a frenzied attack, police said yesterday.

The victim, thought to be in her 30s, was discovered by council workers on Saturday morning. Next to the woman was the burnt remains of a child's double buggy. Officers have ruled out the possibility that any children were involved in the incident and they believe the buggy was used by the victim - who may have been homeless - to transport possessions.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "We have now launched a murder inquiry following the discovery of a woman's body in a shelter in the Holywell area of Eastbourne on Saturday at 5.15am. The top half of the body had been badly burnt. She was found smouldering by council workers. A post-mortem carried out by a Home Office pathologist has revealed that she was stabbed 16 times in the upper body in what is being described as a frenzied attack."

Detective Chief Inspector Tony O'Donnell, the officer leading the inquiry, codenamed Operation Kittiwake, said: "This was an horrific attack on the victim. We urgently need the help of the public in identifying the woman."

The victim who was white, 4ft 10in to 5ft and petite may have had shoulder-length brown hair, the spokesman added. She was found with an elephant charm bracelet on her left wrist and a plain thin metal necklace.

She may have been wearing a pink padded jacket and a black woollen coat.