Police in Portsmouth have launched a murder investigation after they found the body of a woman inside a freezer in a block of flats.

The unidentified woman was found in her own council flat after neighbours raised concerns about her welfare. She was named locally as Louise Brough.

Hampshire police have arrested a 53-year-old man, from Southsea, on suspicion of murder. He was released on police bail pending further inquiries and was due to report back in November.

A spokesman for Hampshire police assured local residents there was no risk to the wider community.

Formal identification has not taken place.

"Until a post-mortem examination has taken place we are unable to confirm when the woman died," the spokesman said.

"The woman was located inside a property in Wilmcote House. We are in the process of locating next of kin to conduct formal identification procedures."

Mercy killing?

Neighbours said Brough had suffered from ill health and police are investigating one theory that her death was the result of a mercy killing or assisted suicide.

The police spokesman said that there were "a lot of different aspects" of the case that needed to be investigated.

Neighbour Kelly Griffin, 34, told the Portsmouth News: "I couldn't believe it. I used to send over a Christmas card for her. I sold her my car years ago.

"The police have been here 24/7 since it happened.

Sid Simpson, 68, added: "My granddaughter saw [the body] being taken out. There were coppers everywhere and they had dogs with them. She was a nice woman.

"It must have been years since I last spoke to her. I first met her when I moved in 20 years ago."

According to the newspaper, Brough was French and had moved to the UK after World War II.