Updated: Investigation continues into murder of artist on Yorkshire farm

Fiona Southwell.

Fiona Southwell.

Police are continuing to piece together how a woman died at a farm in East Yorkshire after a man was arrested on suspicion of her murder.

The body of Fiona Southwell, 59, was discovered at Grange Farm, Goxhill Lane, Seaton on Friday evening.

The scene at Grange Farm, Seaton, this afternoon, where detectives have launched a murder investigation

The scene at Grange Farm, Seaton, this afternoon, where detectives have launched a murder investigation

The 21-year-old man, who is understood not to be a relative, is in custody being questioned by detectives.

Mrs Southwell is believed to have been a freelance artist, who took commissions for horse and pet portraits, and was a member of Hornsea Art Society. She also worked as a freelance riding instructor.

Locals said she had lived at the isolated farm, which is down a single lane track, for around 18 months.

Yesterday specialist officers were searching the verges of a dirt track leading to the Hull to Hornsea cycle path, which was busy with cyclists and walkers.

Police searching at Grange Farm, Seaton, near Hull

Police searching at Grange Farm, Seaton, near Hull

Cordons have gone up at the farm and at an address in Hornsea as part of the investigation.

Specialist officers have been deployed to support Mrs Southwell’s family.

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Cockerill, who is leading the investigation, said: “The Major Incident Team is continuing the investigation into Fiona Southwell’s murder and detectives are continuing to piece together how she died.

“I am aware that this incident will be a shock to those living in the local area given its remote and rural location.

“It is important to reiterate that murders are extremely rare and crime in general remains very low in area, so I would urge people not to be fearful.

“We are committed to identifying those responsible for Fiona’s death and anyone who hasn’t spoken to the police with anything pertinent to the investigation should call the force on 101.”

Officers are hoping to speak to anyone who used the old railway track between Hull and Hornsea between 7am and 7pm on Friday and may have seen something suspicious or untoward.

Stephen and Annmarie Sharp, from Kirk Ella, had been walking on the track back from Hornsea. Mrs Sharp added: “We were walking back from Hornsea and saw police with sticks searching. It’s such a shame, how awful it is. This is such a family orientated place and so peaceful.

“But I was just saying I wouldn’t come here on my own, it is too isolated.”

Her husband added: “I am really shocked it is a really nice part of the world.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting log 517, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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