Man aged 82 arrested in murder probe as two women's bodies found at puppy farm

Four dogs were found shot dead beside the women

Click to follow
The Independent Online

An 82-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a woman and her adult daughter were shot dead at a dog-breeding centre in rural Surrey.

Police said a 999 call was made from Keepers Cottage in Tilford, near Farnham, at about 10am on Sunday. No one other than the suspect and the two women, who lived nearby, are believed to have been on the property at the time.  Armed officers were on the scene within 20 minutes but attempts to resuscitate the women failed.

The suspect, named locally as John Lowe, was last night being questioned by officers.

Four dogs, three German shepherds and Labrador, were also shot dead on the property, which includes several dilapidated out-houses and kennels and is set in six acres of woodland. The RSPCA said a “ significant number” of other animals, including dogs, cats and horses, had been found and were taken into care.

Surrey Police said the case had been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. They declined to give any further details.

Officers confirmed a long-barrelled firearm had been used during the crime and they were investigating the legality of the weapon.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Preston said: “It is extremely sad that two people have lost their lives and police family liaison officers are working to support their relatives and friends at this very difficult time.

“We are conducting a full and thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding these two deaths, however, at this time, we believe this is an isolated incident and there is no further risk to the wider community.”

The body of the older woman, who was in her 60s, was found inside the cottage, while her daughter, who was in her 40s, was found dead near the kennels where animals were kept. DCI Preston said: “All the parties were known to each other. We are trying to establish a motive.”

The women have not yet been formally identified.

The cottage is about a quarter of a mile down a driveway accessed through stone gates. It leads through dense woods with signs warning that CCTV cameras are in operation 24 hours a day. Police were searching the area and also carrying out forensic tests.