Estover murder inquiry: Everything we know so far after woman dies
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Estover murder inquiry: Everything we know so far after woman dies

Jul 25, 2023

Police have been at the scene in Colwill Road since shortly after 1am this morning

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A man remains in custody after being arrested on suspicion of murder of a woman in Estover. Police have said they were initially called to an address in the cul-de-sac Colwill Road at around 1.20am today - Wednesday, May 31 - following reports of a concern for the welfare of a woman at the property.

Officers arrived to find a woman in her 50s dead at the scene. She had not been named by police although residents and neighbours in the street have told PlymouthLive she was called Debbie and had lived at the property for at least 30 years.

A polices spokesperson revealed earlier today that a 32-year-old man from Plymouth was located in the Yelverton area and was arrested on suspicion of murder. He was taken to Charles Cross police station custody suite for interview and currently remains in police custody.

Read more:Plymouth murder investigation launched after woman found dead

A forensic tent has been placed just outside the small set of flats in Colwill Road and police tape has been strung across grass at the front of the block as well as cordon tape at each side to prevent people walking along the path to the front door. Police officers and PCSOs have been posted at each cordon to maintain security.

During this afternoon and evening, a Crime Scene Investigator wearing a disposable white coverall was seen at the property gathering forensic evidence. In addition, detectives went door to door and speaking to residents, and specialist officers from Devon and Cornwall Police's Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT) were seen to attend the address.

The MCIT officer will be leading the investigation and co-ordinating the lines of inquiry. Residents in the area were understandably shocked as news of the murder and arrest was published, especially on learning who the alleged victim was.

Neighbours said the woman had lived at the address, a small upstairs flat, for "around 30 or so years". One explained that she had been married in the past to a serviceman and they had had a son, but the relationship broke down and she appeared to spiral into a depression.

She had been a regular at the Mainstone social club, attending it with fellow neighbours, but a later relationship did not go well and as it floundered she went out less and less. One neighbour said that Debbie effectively became "a bit of a recluse", keeping her windows closed most of the time and only going out late in the evening in her car to go shopping.

Another neighbour who had known her for many years said she could be heard playing records loudly and crying following the break-up. Another neighbour remarked how in recent weeks they had seen police attending the address and knocking on the door "week after week" but with no response and no explanation for their visit.

Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed suspicious activity in the area on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, or who may have any information or dashcam footage that could help with enquiries. If you can assist contact police via our website here or by calling 101 quoting log 42 of 31/5/23.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at or by calling freephone 0800 555111.

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