Policeman questioned after wife found dead: Woman's death is being treated as murder after body is discovered in stream near her crashed car

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A POLICE sergeant was being questioned by detectives last night following the discovery of his wife's body at the scene of a 'suspicious' car crash.

Sgt Stephen Jones of North Wales police was arrested yesterday morning, 12 hours after the discovery of his wife's body near a car that had apparently plunged down an embankment beside the A550 between Hawarden and Dobbs Hill near Pen-y-ffordd.

North Wales police said the incident was considered to be 'suspicious'. It said the death was being treated as murder. It is understood detectives intend to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash, which happened at a spot called Tinkersdale Woods.

Madealline Jones, 37, was found with head injuries in a stream a few yards from her red Mini Metro at 10.40pm on Sunday after motorists reported seeing the vehicle with its headlights on among trees down the embankment. It is understood Mrs Jones had suffered fatal head injuries.

Sgt Jones, 35, was taken to Mold police station by a team led by Det Supt Gareth Jones, the deputy head of North Wales CID. Det Supt Jones confirmed that a murder investigation was under way. He said the incident was first treated as a fatal road accident, but several questions had been raised after an examination of the scene.

A post-mortem examination was carried out by Dr Donald Wayte, a Home Office pathologist, and the car was taken to Mold police station where it was examined by forensic scientists. Eighteen officers based at an incident room in Mold spent the day searching the wood and crash site yesterday and took items away from Sgt Jones's home and car.

Sgt Jones has been a serving officer in the North Wales force for 15 years. He earned praise last week for saving the life of a woman who had fallen into a freezing pond in Ewloe, the village where he lived with Mrs Jones and their two boys, aged nine and six. The officer and several colleagues spent 20 minutes waist-deep in freezing water to rescue the woman and had to be treated for hypothermia.

Afterwards, Chief Inspector John Williams, of North Wales Police at Mold, said his officers probably saved the woman's life.

One colleague, who did not want to be named, said: 'He is a very well liked and well respected officer. He became a sergeant as quite a young man and spent some time as a lecturer at a police training college. I understand he was on duty until 10pm on Sunday.'

North Wales police said no charges were expected to be brought last night.

Benjamin Stewart, a 24-year-old camera technician, was last night charged with the murder of his wife, Angela, whose burnt body was found in a forest car park on Sunday.

Mr Stewart is due to appear at Farnham Magistrates' Court today, charged with murdering Mrs Stewart on or about 3 January at Wrecclesham. Her body was found by passers-by at the Alice Holt forest in north Hampshire several hours after her husband had reported her missing.

A post-mortem examination showed that Mrs Stewart, 25, had died from head injuries. The couple's two-year old daughter was being cared for by her grandparents last night.