Murder victim in burning car named as Catherine Wells-Burr
Detectives in Somerset have confirmed that they believe the woman whose body was found in a burning car yesterday was Catherine Wells-Burr.
They are appealing for witnesses after the car was found in Ashill early yesterday morning.
Police were called to the scene by the fire service to reports of a car on fire in a lane off the A358 near Ilminster, shortly before 6.30am yesterday.
They confirmed that there was a body of a woman in a red Ford Focus car.
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They believe this woman is 23-year-old Catherine Wells-Burr.
It is understood that Catherine was a former Bath Spa University student, who had split up with a former boyfriend when she went to university in the town.
Investigations began and a murder enquiry was launched last night.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp said: "This is a tragic and brutal incident in which a young woman has needlessly lost her life.
"We are working to establish what happened in the early hours of yesterday morning that led to this car being set ablaze.
"I would like to appeal to anyone with any information about this incident to get in touch with us no matter how small you think that piece of information may be.
"In particular I'd like to speak to any motorists who were in the area around the time who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously or anyone crossing the A358. It is also very important that we speak to all of Catherine's friends and associates who she may have socialised with, as well as anyone else who may have any knowledge about her social and private life.
"Your information may be crucial so please contact us by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
"Finally I would like to thank local residents for their cooperation as we carry out this investigation and also those motorists who have been inconvenienced because of the road closures."
DCI Simon Crisp has given a statement about the murder investigation.
"A member of the public saw the burning car at around 6.00 - 6.30 am and called the police, who subsequently found the body. We believe whatever happened to Catherine, happened around that time in the morning," he said.
"We are still searching for the offenders and we are not going to give out any information about suspects or arrests for the time being.
"One of the theories that we are working on is that Catherine was murdered by someone close to her, someone she knew.
"We cannot say how she died yet as the post-mortem has not been conducted. We are expecting results back from the post-mortem tomorrow or the next day."