York & North Yorkshire

Whitby flat death woman was victim of 'brutal' murder

The scene of the murder
Image caption Police want to trace a man seen in the area with a dark-coloured mountain bike

A 50-year-old woman found dead in her North Yorkshire flat was the victim of a brutal murder, police have said.

The body of Julie Davison was found with head injuries by a relative at her Church Square home in Whitby, at 12:40 BST on Wednesday.

Det Ch Insp Kerrin Smith, of North Yorkshire Police, said the motive behind the killing was unknown.

Officers have appealed for a man with a dark-coloured mountain bike to come forward.

Mr Kerrin said: "This was a brutal murder of a lady who lived on her own and the motive behind it is unknown at the moment, but we are exploring all possibilities."

Police said that although Ms Davison was born in Whitby she had moved back to the resort from Lancashire last year and was living in a rented property.

The detective said the man with the bike was seen in the square by the flats at about 06:30 BST on Wednesday.

The man is described as white, about 5ft 9in to 6ft tall, in his late 20s to 40s, of slim build and an unkempt appearance and was wearing a baseball cap.

Patrols have been stepped up in the West Cliff area and a mobile police station is in place for anyone wanting to speak to police.

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