The Metropolitan Police on Tuesday arrested a woman suspected of the murder of Mee Kuen Chong, whose body was found headless in Salcombe.
The 67-year-old pensioner's death was initially treated as "unexplained" by Devon and Cornwall Police. However, inquiries about the case in the London area and in south Devon reportedly led to the arrest of a 36-year-old woman from Kilburn. She remains in custody at a police station in north London on suspicion of the murder of Mrs. Chong.
Further details about the arrest have yet to be revealed as the Metropolitan Police's specialist crime command begins the murder investigation. According to Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who leads the case, they are "at this stage, working on establishing the full circumstances surrounding Mee's death and in particular her movements."
"The discovery of Mee's body is a tragic development and my thoughts are with her family and friends," he said as quoted by Mirror UK. He also asked for information from the public regarding the victim that could be vital to the investigation.
"I would ask anyone who saw her between Thursday June 10 and Sunday June 27, either in London or Devon, who has not yet spoken to police, to please come forward. It is absolutely vital that anyone who may have information about Mee's movements over this period share what they know to help us fully understand what happened to her," Eastwood implored.
The arrest of the murder suspect led to the police cordoning off a residential area in Kilburn. Meanwhile, barricades in Devon, which was set up upon the discovery of Mrs. Chong's body on June 27, still remain. Police searches and inquiries are likely to also continue with the ongoing investigation.
The victim was originally from Malaysia but she had lived in London for 30 years. She was initially reported missing from her home in Wembley, London on June 11. Her headless body ended up 200 miles away from home in a wooded area in the vacation town of Salcombe.
Neighbours who knew Mrs. Chong well expressed their shock to learn she is dead. They said she was a very religious, pleasant, and friendly woman. But they also mentioned that she was a "vulnerable person" because of issues concerning her mental health.