Murder probe on National Trust estate Watlington Hill after woman in sixties is found dead in woods

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Police swooped in on a country home to arrest a man on suspicion of murder after an elderly woman was found dead in National Trust woodland. 

The body of the woman, who was in her 60s, was discovered on the Watlington Estate in Oxfordshire just before 6pm on Friday evening.

Thames Valley Police later said that they had arrested a 23-year-old man, who was seriously injured, on suspicion of murder. 

Detectives said he was known to his elderly victim. 

A spokesman said: ‘The woman’s next of kin have been informed and they are being supported by specially trained officers. 


‘However formal identification processes and a post-mortem examination are yet to be carried out.

‘Officers from our Major Crime Unit launched a murder inquiry and officers located a 23-year-old man and he was arrested on suspicion of murder. 






‘He is currently being treated in hospital for serious injuries with his condition described as serious but stable.’ 

Police swooped in on a country home to arrest a man on suspicion of murder after an elderly woman was found dead in National Trust woodland. Pictured: Forensic officers on the scene

Police swooped in on a country home to arrest a man on suspicion of murder after an elderly woman was found dead in National Trust woodland. Pictured: Forensic officers on the scene

Police swooped in on a country home to arrest a man on suspicion of murder after an elderly woman was found dead in National Trust woodland. Pictured: Forensic officers on the scene

The body of the woman, who was in her 60s, was discovered on the Watlington Estate in Oxfordshire just before 6pm on Friday evening. Pictured: Forensic officers on the scene

The body of the woman, who was in her 60s, was discovered on the Watlington Estate in Oxfordshire just before 6pm on Friday evening. Pictured: Forensic officers on the scene

The body of the woman, who was in her 60s, was discovered on the Watlington Estate in Oxfordshire just before 6pm on Friday evening. Pictured: Forensic officers on the scene

Thames Valley Police later said that they had arrested a 23-year-old man, who was seriously injured, on suspicion of murder. Pictured: Police vans at the scene

Thames Valley Police later said that they had arrested a 23-year-old man, who was seriously injured, on suspicion of murder. Pictured: Police vans at the scene

Thames Valley Police later said that they had arrested a 23-year-old man, who was seriously injured, on suspicion of murder. Pictured: Police vans at the scene

Police roadblock pictured in Oxfordshire where a man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a woman

Police roadblock pictured in Oxfordshire where a man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a woman

Police roadblock pictured in Oxfordshire where a man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a woman


On Saturday, police were pictured where the woman was found dead and also at a house nearby, on Hollandridge Lane.

A woman living next door, Sue Yerbergh, 58, said the owners of the property told her a man broke into their home before they found him ‘naked and bleeding’ in their shower room. 

She said a man was earlier seen running through nearby woods towards her and her neighbour’s property. 

Police earlier said they were appealing for anyone who saw a man behaving strangely near the Fox and Hounds pub – a short walk from the home where the man was found – at around 3.30pm to get in touch.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Watlington Hill area at around 5.50pm was also asked to contact the force.

Ms Yerburgh, 58, a retired gardener, told MailOnline: ‘I heard someone crashing through the undergrowth, which is very unusual around here. My dog started barking.

‘It was about 5:30pm. He got into the next door house. They were in their swimming pool and found him in the shower room naked and bleeding.

‘He had been there for two hours before they realised.’  

The body of the woman, who was in her 60s, was discovered on the Watlington Estate in Oxfordshire just before 6pm on Friday evening. Pictured: Forensics officers on scene

The body of the woman, who was in her 60s, was discovered on the Watlington Estate in Oxfordshire just before 6pm on Friday evening. Pictured: Forensics officers on scene

The body of the woman, who was in her 60s, was discovered on the Watlington Estate in Oxfordshire just before 6pm on Friday evening. Pictured: Forensics officers on scene

Police swooped in on a country home to arrest a man on suspicion of murder after an elderly woman was found dead in National Trust woodland. Pictured: Police at the scene

Police swooped in on a country home to arrest a man on suspicion of murder after an elderly woman was found dead in National Trust woodland. Pictured: Police at the scene

Police swooped in on a country home to arrest a man on suspicion of murder after an elderly woman was found dead in National Trust woodland. Pictured: Police at the scene

The body of a woman has been discovered at National Trust estate Watlington Hill and a man arrested on suspicion of murder is being treated for serious injuries, police said. Pictured: Police at the scene on Saturday

The body of a woman has been discovered at National Trust estate Watlington Hill and a man arrested on suspicion of murder is being treated for serious injuries, police said. Pictured: Police at the scene on Saturday

The body of a woman has been discovered at National Trust estate Watlington Hill and a man arrested on suspicion of murder is being treated for serious injuries, police said. Pictured: Police at the scene on Saturday

Thames Valley Police found the body in woodland on the Watlington Hill estate just before 6pm on Friday and are linking the death to reports of a man seen acting suspiciously near a pub a few hours earlier

Thames Valley Police found the body in woodland on the Watlington Hill estate just before 6pm on Friday and are linking the death to reports of a man seen acting suspiciously near a pub a few hours earlier

Thames Valley Police found the body in woodland on the Watlington Hill estate just before 6pm on Friday and are linking the death to reports of a man seen acting suspiciously near a pub a few hours earlier


She said the family were told to leave their home by police after the man was arrested. 

On Saturday, forensic officers were pictured entering the property.  

Ms Yerburgh said she was told the man had run to her neighbour’s home through nearby woods. 

Another woman, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I saw him jump on to the car of another woman, then he ran towards the side of the road and tried to get into my car.

‘He ran off and I went to help the woman whose car he’d jumped on because I thought she was a potential victim.’

A third person said the victim was likely to be local to the area.

Graham Skinner, 64, a retired sales manager from Watlington, said: ‘I would have thought they are local, from Christmas Common.

‘It is a popular spot. We get loads of people coming for walking.

‘They would have had to get there somehow.

‘If there isn’t a vehicle and if they walked it is a long way from Watlington let alone anywhere else.

‘It’d be along the road, maybe a late afternoon dog walk.

‘I have got to suppose it is someone who knows and lives in the area.’  

Police were also pictured entering a house near to the woodland where the woman was found

Police were also pictured entering a house near to the woodland where the woman was found

Police were also pictured entering a house near to the woodland where the woman was found

Police said a man was seen acting suspiciously at around 3.30pm near the Fox and Hounds pub, a short walk from where the woman was found dead

Police said a man was seen acting suspiciously at around 3.30pm near the Fox and Hounds pub, a short walk from where the woman was found dead

Police said a man was seen acting suspiciously at around 3.30pm near the Fox and Hounds pub, a short walk from where the woman was found dead 

Detective Supt. Kirby, of the Major Crime Unit, said: ‘We are continuing our inquiries following this tragic incident. We are still in the very early stages of our investigation and I realise that members of the community may have concerns.

‘We believe that this was not a random attack and that the victim and the attacker were known to each other. The arrested man remains in the custody of police officers while he receives hospital treatment for serious injuries.

‘I would continue to appeal for anyone with information around this incident, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to please come forward.

‘Anyone with information should call 101. If you wish to report anonymously you can do so by calling the Crimestoppers Charity on 0800 555 111.

‘A number of crime scenes will remain in place in the Christmas Common area whilst we continue to investigate and I would like to thank the public for their patience.

‘Members of the public will see an increased presence whilst we continue to investigate If anyone has any concerns about this incident or even information they would like to pass on they can speak to one of our uniformed officers.’   

The Watlington Hill estate was donated to the National Trust in the mid-20th century and is popular with walkers and tourists. 

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Craig Kirby of the Major Crime Unit, said last night: 'We have tonight launched a murder investigation following the discovery of a woman's body in woodland earlier this evening Pictured: Forensic investigators at the scene

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Craig Kirby of the Major Crime Unit, said last night: 'We have tonight launched a murder investigation following the discovery of a woman's body in woodland earlier this evening Pictured: Forensic investigators at the scene

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Craig Kirby of the Major Crime Unit, said last night: ‘We have tonight launched a murder investigation following the discovery of a woman’s body in woodland earlier this evening Pictured: Forensic investigators at the scene

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Watlington Hill area at around 5.50pm is also asked to contact the force

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Watlington Hill area at around 5.50pm is also asked to contact the force

 Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Watlington Hill area at around 5.50pm is also asked to contact the force

A map shows the Fox and Hounds pub and the Watlington Hill estate where the woman's body was found

A map shows the Fox and Hounds pub and the Watlington Hill estate where the woman's body was found

A map shows the Fox and Hounds pub and the Watlington Hill estate where the woman’s body was found

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