Little girl ‘screamed and hid behind tree’ before woman in 30s found dead

A man in his 30s has been arrested on suspicion of murder (Picture: East Anglia News)

A little girl ran out of her home and hid behind a tree after screams were heard coming from a house where a woman was found dead, witnesses have claimed.

Police were called to reports of a ‘concern for safety’ at a home in Lake Close, Shipdham, near Dereham, just after 1.20pm on Sunday.

A woman in her 30s was found dead at the property by paramedics who declared her death just before 2.20pm.

Police said a man in his 30s, from Shipdham, was arrested on suspicion of murder yesterday afternoon.

He remains in custody at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre where he is being questioned.

Neighbours said the victim was a ‘devoted’ mother to two daughters, aged five and 17, with the family moving into the property in December, last year.

Witnesses told how they heard screams coming from the family home, before the victim’s youngest daughter fled and hid behind an oak tree beside the house until a resident took her inside.

Neighbours described how they saw armed police arrive at the property yesterday afternoon and break down the back door, before an air ambulance landed.

The mother, who has not been named, was described as an ‘absolutely lovely lady’ and was believed to be Eastern European.

A woman in her 30s was pronounced dead at the scene (Picture: East Anglia News)
Neighbours said a little girl ran out the house and hid behind the tree after screams were heard (Picture: East Anglia News)

Alice Wool, 19, who lives opposite the family with her four-month-old daughter, said: ‘What has happened is just horrific. I literally can’t believe it.’

Ms Wool continued: ‘I was out when it happened, but a neighbour told me that there were screams and the little girl ran out of the house and hid behind a tree.

‘Then a neighbour came out and took her in before the police arrived. It must have been awful for her and I can’t stop thinking about it.’

Ms Wool described how the mother would ‘always smile and wave’ at her and told how she cared for the children in the neighbourhood.

She added: ‘If she bought ice lollies for her daughters, she would always have extra ones to hand out to other children playing outside in the close.

‘She used to cut up a whole water melon and share it out between all the local children.

‘She loved her garden and was always planting things. She even planted flowers and plants on strip of public land beside our green to brighten it up.

‘I know she had also put some fruit trees in her back garden. She said she wanted fruit to grow so she could give it to the local children.’

Another neighbour Jamie Douglas, 19, said his friends’ children used to enjoy meals at the family’s home.

Recounting the moment emergency services arrived, he said: ‘I was sat inside and my girlfriend said she had seen an ambulance. Then it just went mad.

‘There were seven police cars, five armed response vehicles, a dog unit and a couple of ambulances, as well as an air ambulance helicopter landing at the back.’

Anyone with information is urged to contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101.

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