Crawley Down: Double murder suspect in 'unstable' condition

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ForensicsImage source, Eddie Mitchell
Image caption,
Two women were found dead outside the property and a man was found inside

A man arrested on suspicion of murdering two women in a village in West Sussex is in a "very unstable condition" in hospital, police said.

One of the victims of the attack in Crawley Down has been named locally as 76-year-old Sandy Seagrave.

She was found dead outside a house in Hazel Way, alongside the body of a 32-year-old woman, on Sunday.

The 37-year-old suspect, who knew one of the women, is at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.

He was found injured inside the property by police at 10:20 GMT, on Sunday.

'Lovely lady'

Retired milkman Tony Jones, 74, said of Ms Seagrave: "Everybody knows Sandy because she used to walk round the village.

"Everybody used to see her, wave to her... a lovely lady.

"I can't believe what happened to her," he said.

A message written on a bouquet of flowers at the police cordon read: "A terrible tragedy. Rest in peace."

Residents near the scene turned off their Christmas lights on Sunday night in tribute to those who had been killed, according to a homeowner.

"It was all the village lights. It was quite dark and eerie but it was a mark of respect," she said.

Image source, Eddie Mitchell
Image caption,
Police in Hazel Way, Crawley Down

Earlier reports suggested a knife was used in the attack, but Sussex Police has since said "this is not a knife crime".

Det Ch Insp Alex Geldart of Sussex Police said: "This is a tragic incident which has led to the death of two local women, one of whom was known to the suspect.

"Members of the public, police and paramedics did all they could to help the victims but sadly the two women died at the scene.

"I extend my heartfelt sympathies to their families, who are being supported by specialist officers. I ask that people respect their privacy at this distressing time.

"Extensive inquiries are taking place along with a forensic examination, and any speculation by the media as to what has happened is unhelpful. This was not a knife attack.

"A cordon will remain in the area while we gather evidence and we appreciate the support and understanding of local residents."

The force gave no further details about the cause of the women's deaths.

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