Body is missing Somercotes woman

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THE BODY of a woman found near Somercotes has been confirmed as that of missing Jia Ashton.

Mrs Ashton (24), of Springfield Crescent, Somercotes, was formally identified on Tuesday afternoon.

She had been reported missing on Friday evening by her husband. Her body was found by Derby Mountain Rescue volunteers and a search dog in Sleetmoor Woods at 4.30pm on Sunday during the search to find her.

Police said a post mortem examination has revealed she died as a result of an assault.

Officers added there is no evidence a weapon was used and there was no apparent sexual assault.

A team of 50 police officers and forensic experts is working on the enquiry from an incident room in Ripley. The search of the woodland where Mrs Ashton was found is continuing and police say they are likely to be in the area for several more days.

Detective Superintendent Terry Branson, who is leading the investigation, said: “The main focus of our investigation at the moment is around what happened to Mrs Ashton after she left work on Thursday.

“We know she left work at Thornton’s just after 5pm but we have no positive sightings of her after that time.

“It is really important that we trace her movements so we can piece together what happened to her and how she met such a tragic end.”

A 26-year-old man arrested on Sunday evening has appeared before magistrates in Derby today where police successfully applied for an extension of 30 hours to his detention. He remains in custody and will be further questioned by detectives today.

Anyone who has any information that may help the police enquiry should ring the incident room on 0345 123 33 33 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.