‘Woman dead in blast house had been murdered’

An explosion occurred at a property in Riddings.
An explosion occurred at a property in Riddings.
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A 45-YEAR-OLD woman found dead with her husband after an explosion at their home in Derbyshire was murdered, police said.

Officers believe Shelley Saxton-Cooper was wounded before the house was destroyed by an explosion and fire on Sunday morning.

Forensic teams are working to piece together the cause of the explosion and fire at the house in Valley View Road in Riddings, Derbyshire, in which her husband Simon Saxton-Cooper also died.

Chief Superintendent Sunita Gamblin said: “We believe that Shelley, who was 45-years-old, was wounded before the explosion and fire and we are treating her death as murder.

“We’re still unable to say how either she or her husband died as post mortem examinations haven’t been completed.

“Police, crime scene investigators and fire investigation specialists are working through the scene of the fire to find out exactly how it started and what happened.

“We don’t believe, at this time, that anyone else is involved.”

Officers had previously said they did not believe there were any suspicious circumstances surrounding the fire.

On Monday morning people began laying flowers on the street with one tribute saying: “Hearts are broken. A tragedy your lives should end this way.”

Jayne Titchmarsh, who lives two doors away, said: “I knew the couple a little bit, I used to see them walking dogs in the morning and we would chat about family and things like that. It’s just such a shock really.”

Post mortem examinations on the two bodies will be carried out to determine the cause of death.