A KILLER is on the loose after a woman was found brutally murdered at her Whitby home on Wednesday.
Julie Davison was discovered by her sister at her Church Square flat on the West Cliff at 12.40pm.
The 50-year-old had suffered serious head injuries, leading police to close off the area and launch a major murder investigation.
Whitby Police’s Kerrin Smith said “It’s still very early in the investigation but this was the brutal murder of a lady who lived on her own and the motive behind this is unknown.”
The mother-of-one was found in the ground floor flat where she lived alone having suffered “brutal” head injuries, although PC Smith added that there was no obvious signs of a break in.
She was originally from Whitby and had moved away to live in Lancashire, before returning to her home town last year.
Church Square was cordoned off with police tape and there was a huge police presence just yards away from West Cliff Primary School.
Door to door enquiries took place throughout the evening and Melanie Liu, who lives in Hudson Street, said: “It’s very scary. The whole point of being somewhere rural and isolated is nothing does happen here.
“We’re safe and everybody knows everybody’s business, but when something like this does happen it’s unreal.
“This doesn’t happen in Whitby, everybody’s unnerved.”
Mrs Liu added that when she was interviewed by police they asked her the standard questions such as whether she had heard any disturbances or seen anything unusual, but also said that they asked her whether she had seen anybody that she didn’t recognise leaving the area on a pedal bike.
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said that patrols have been stepped up to support the investigation and provide reassurance to concerned residents.
“From the police enquiries it sounds like they don’t know who it was,” added Mrs Liu.
“There’s somebody out there who has done something very wrong, it’s very scary indeed.”
Police would like to speak to anyone who was in the Church Square area during the early hours of Wednesday, especially around 6am, to contact the police immediately.
In particular, they are asking for information about a man seen with a dark-coloured mountain bike to come forward.
He was seen in the square outside the flats at around 6.30am on Wednesday morning and officers would like him to come forward as he may have important information which could help the investigation.
Anyone with any information can contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, pressing option 1 and pass the information on to the Force Control Room, quoting “Operation Bulb”. To leave information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Alternatively you can contact North Yorkshire Police on Twitter by following NYorksPolice and using #WhitbyMurder