Sussex murder enquiry: police reveal identity of victim and make second arrest

Police investigating the suspected murder of woman in Sussex have released a photograph of the victim and have arrested a second man on suspicion of her murder.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 7:09 pm

Sussex Police said the woman’s body was discovered in a bin in undergrowth on the edge of the recreation ground off Landport Road in Lewes, East Sussex, by a dog walker at around 12.30pm on Wednesday (November 13).

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Lewes murder enquiry launched after woman’s body found in bin

The death was initially treated as unexplained, but police are now treating it as murder after examination of the body showed a significant head injury.

Police are satisified the woman is Nicola Stevenson (pictured), from Lewes. Picture: Sussex Police

Police said today that the woman has not been formally identified at this time, but officers are satisfied that she is Nicola Stevenson (pictured), from Lewes.

A post-mortem has been carried out and it has shown that the 39-year-old died as a result of blunt force trauma to her head. Her next-of-kin have been informed, police confirmed. Officers believe her body had been there for some time.

A 41-year-old man of no fixed address was arrested in Lewes on Thursday morning on suspicion of murder. He remained in custody on Friday afternoon (November 15).

On Thursday evening, a 37-year-old man of no fixed address was arrested in a car park in Langney Road, Eastbourne, also on suspicion of her murder, police said. He too remained in custody on Friday afternoon.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Friday, from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who is leading the investigation, said: “Our thoughts at this time are with Nicola’s family and friends and we are determined to seek justice for them.

“Nicola died following a significant blow to the head. Her body had been placed in the wheelie bin and dumped in the undergrowth and we want to establish when that happened and when she was last seen alive.

“We know that the bin was probably there on November 1, and we are now trying to establish when Nicola was last seen alive.

“Our initial appeal prompted a number of calls around the wheelie bin and I would like to thank everyone who has called in.

“We would still welcome any more information around any aspect of the investigation, but I am really interested to hear from anyone who saw her after around the first week of October.

“Please report online or call 101 quoting Operation Stafford.”

Search and forensic teams are continuing to work at the recreation ground and also at Nicola’s home in nearby Stansfield Road, police said. It is hoped that the current cordon will be reduced by the weekend, said a spokesman.