A 27-year-old woman bled to death after an artery in one of her legs was severed during a car journey, police disclosed today.
The victim, who has not been named, also sustained other stab wounds to her leg, body and head, a post-mortem examination found.
Detectives said she would have died within minutes after being seriously injured in a Volkswagen Passat in Woodfield Road, Crawley, West Sussex, on Tuesday evening.
Paramedics were unable to save her and she was declared dead at the scene before her body was taken to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, Surrey.
A 30-year-old man, from Crawley, was arrested on suspicion of murder and detained in a secure unit under the Mental Health Act, Sussex Police said.
A second man, a 51-year-old from Crawley, was also held on suspicion of murder and freed on bail until January 25.
Police have revealed that the victim and the two men arrested knew each other but their relationship has not been disclosed.
Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Smith, of Sussex Police's major crime branch, described it as an "intricate investigation".
He said: "We now know that the attack took place in the car, while the three occupants were travelling in it, which then returned to Woodfield Road, from where the ambulance service was called.
"We are advised that the nature of her injury would have resulted in her death in a matter of minutes."
Another officer, Chief Inspector Steve Curry, said the killing had reverberated around the close community but there was no threat to the wider area.
Police said forensic teams had combed the car the woman was found in for evidence, as well as a house in Woodfield Road.
A knife which was found in the car was also examined to establish whether it was used in the assault.Reuse content