Woman arrested over body found inside burning car

Police appeal for help as family of 23-year-old business analyst mourn 'beautiful Catherine'

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a business analyst whose body was found in a burning car abandoned in a Somerset field.

The body of Catherine Wells-Burr, 23, was found in the wreckage of her car near Ilminster early on Wednesday. The cause of death has yet to be revealed but police have described it as "brutal".

The arrest of a 32-year-old woman, the third in the investigation, was made late on Thursday and she was being questioned yesterday. Two men arrested earlier have been eliminated as suspects.

Miss Wells-Burr's family and boyfriend yesterday joined police in urging witnesses to come forward so they can establish why their "beautiful Catherine" was killed. "We have found it hard to understand why someone would have done this to her," they said.

Investigators suspect she may have known and arranged to meet her killer. They also want to track down any motorists who drove past her car and possibly saw who else was there. A figure was seen standing near the car as it burned and there are also reports that a man was spotted fleeing the scene.

The dead woman's mother Jayne, father Phil, sister Leanne and boyfriend Rafal Nowak issued a joint statement in which they said: "There are no words to express how we feel about what has happened to her early on Wednesday morning. We desperately need to know why.

"We have lost our beautiful Catherine; she was full of character, she was caring, loving, and had a bubbly personality. She had a wonderful sense of humour, and was an amazing, special person. She was so happy starting her life with Rafal and excited about their future together."

They spoke of their gratitude for the messages of sympathy and support and said: "We have found some comfort in all the kind and thoughtful words that have been said about Catherine and in knowing how well she was loved."

Miss Wells-Burr had graduated from Bath Spa University in business management with a first-class degree and was working as a business analyst for Numatic International, which is best known for manufacturing Henry vacuum cleaners. It is based near the family home in Chard.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp said: "A post-mortem will begin today to try to identify how Catherine died. We still need information from members of the public and those people who knew Catherine or knew of her. It is imperative we get a full picture of her life and you may have information that could help."

Her employers said: "Catherine was a valued employee who worked with us in manufacturing during her university holidays and after graduation as a full-time employee. We are all shocked and saddened by this tragedy and our thoughts are with Catherine's family and all those affected."

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