Murder investigation launched after woman found dead in York flat

A police officer and a member of the forensics team at the entrance to the flats on Fourth Avenue. Photographs: YorkMix
3 Jul 2018 @ 9.57 am
| Crime, News

A murder investigation is underway in York after the death of a woman in York.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of the 25-year-old woman was found dead at a flat on Fourth Avenue.

Police and paramedics went to the address at 1pm on Monday (July 2) after concerns were raised for the welfare of the woman, named locally as Claire Lucas.

Officers gained entry to the flat where they sadly found her dead.

A 35-year-old local man has been arrested.

Hadn’t been seen

A police officer at the Fourth Avenue entrance to the flats

The flat is behind the Classic Cutz barber shop owned by Terry Smith.

He said the first he knew something was wrong was at about 10am on Monday.

That was when a work colleague of the victim arrived, looking for her. Terry said:

She hadn’t been seen at work for a few days. She went away, obviously concerned. I went back to work and carried on with my job.

Two hours later the woman’s brother came down with his girlfriend or friend, expressing concern for his sister. He said to me, ‘have you seen anything, or seen my sister?’

I said what goes on upstairs in the flats is separate to my business.

The flat was behind the Classic Cutz barber shop
The Crime Scene Investigation unit at the scene
The CSI officers were working at the flats on Tuesday
Residents were shocked by what has happened on Fourth Avenue

Upset and totally devastated

The brother contacted the police who got into the flats after the agents gave them keys.

Terry told YorkMix:

Police officers went upstairs. They were up there for about half an hour, and came back down while I was with the brother.

And they broke the news that this woman had been found dead upstairs in the apartment.

He was obviously upset and totally devastated. I consoled him the best I could.

The view of the flats from the rear, off Seventh Avenue
A police community support officer at the rear entrance to the flats
Another view of the scene
Terry Smith, owner of Classic Cutz barber shop

Terry said the victim was a wonderful person.

She was one of the nicest, kindest people you could ever meet. She was always friendly, happy – an outgoing person.

Somebody that you’d never forget.

I’m totally saddened and devastated by what’s gone on. I hope the people that have been involved with this are brought to justice.

Tenants not allowed back

There are six flats in the block on Fourth Avenue, with access through an alleyway off Fourth Avenue, and through the rear yard off Seventh Avenue.

Tenants have not been allowed back into the other flats. Terry had taken one of them to stay at the nearby Travelodge.

Another tenant, Maciej Kozlowski, had returned from Leeds this morning to discover what had happened.

Bins behind the flats were also part of the crime scene
The wheelie bins were sealed off with police tape
Officers on Fourth Avenue
Locals made drinks for the police

Police had allowed him back into his home briefly to collect a few possessions and said he might be able to move back in tomorrow. He knew the victim and was very shocked by the news.

A crime scene investigation unit was there today, with officers in full-body forensic suits seen going into the flats.

Police are also believed to be looking at CCTV footage from cameras found on the One Stop Shop across the road.

One arrest

The investigation continues
The suspect, a 35 year-old local man, was arrested at 5pm the same day after officers located him in his vehicle on Melrosegate.

The victim’s family have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said:

We are not yet in a position to release the woman’s identity and urge people to respect her family’s privacy.

A police scene guard will remain in place at the property whilst enquiries are completed.

Witnesses or anyone with information that could assist the investigation are urged to contact North Yorkshire Police.

north-yorkshire-police-logo-25How to help the police

Call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1 and ask for the Force Control Room
Or call Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
Quote reference number 12180118649