Brandon: Family raised alarm before Santon Downham rail death

A FAMILY member of a young woman killed on a railway line called police to raise the alarm about a domestic disturbance just an hour before, it has emerged.

Suffolk police were in the middle of investigating reports of a domestic disturbance involving a couple in Brandon when they learned a 25-year-old woman had been struck by a freight train at about 9.30pm on Monday.

It later transpired that the woman who died in the train collision, which happened at a level crossing at Santon Downham, was the same one who was involved in the domestic disturbance, reported at about 8.30pm, on a boat on the Little Ouse in the Brandon area.

Police yesterday confirmed that the person who reported the domestic disturbance was a relative of the woman. It also emerged that police had previously been in contact with the woman.

Detectives also revealed their desire to speak to a woman in her late 50s or early 60s who may be able to assist in the investigation.


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At around 4.30am yesterday, the woman’s partner, a 45-year-old man from the Brandon area, was arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment. He was yesterday being held at Bury St Edmunds police station and interviewed by officers.

A joint British Transport Police/Suffolk Constabulary investigation has been launched and the Suffolk force has referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission because of its prior contact with the woman.

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And police now want to speak to a member of the public who may be able to help piece together what happened before the woman’s death.

A woman in her late 50s or early 60s with grey/blonde hair boarded the boat at some point that afternoon. She was wearing a lilac jacket and had a purple mountain bike with her at the moorings.

Detective Inspector Andy Footer said: “The boat was tied up at moorings near the Brandon Ram on Monday afternoon. At some point during the afternoon the woman got onto the vessel, spoke to the occupants and took a ride along the river in the boat.

“We need to trace this lady as she may be able to assist our investigation.”

A post mortem examination carried out yesterday afternoon found the woman died as a result of being struck by a train.

The coroner has been informed and the woman’s family has also been notified.

A police spokeswoman said officers from Suffolk Constabulary and British Transport Police were currently working to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

Officers were in Santon Downham yesterday as part of the investigation.

“As there was police involvement in the incident prior to the woman’s death, Suffolk Constabulary has referred it to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as a matter of course,” the spokeswoman said.

The police were finished at the scene of the collision at 5.02am yesterday. Police want to speak to anyone who may have seen a woman in distress in the forest around Santon Downham on Monday prior to 9.30pm.

Calls should be made to West Suffolk CID on 01473 613500.

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