Ex-partner of murder victim Linzi Ashton sought by police

Linzi Ashton
Image caption Linzi Ashton was found dead on Saturday evening

A 25-year-old woman was "brutally murdered" at her home in Greater Manchester, police have said.

Mother-of-two Linzi Ashton's body was found on Saturday evening at the house in Westbourne Road, Winton, Salford.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) want to interview Ms Ashton's former partner, Michael Cope, 28.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been informed as police had previously received reports about the couple.

A Home Office post-mortem examination to establish the cause of death has yet to take place.

'Brutally assaulted'

Flowers have been laid at The Duke of York pub in Eccles where Ms Ashton worked.

The pub has been closed as a mark of respect.

Ms Ashton, whose body was found by a relative, had daughters aged seven and two.

Image caption Michael Cope is thought to be in Salford

Det Chief Supt Darren Shenton, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "She has been brutally assaulted and I am satisfied this is a murder investigation."

GMP confirmed Ms Ashton had visible injuries to her head and face.

Mr Shenton added: "Our thoughts are with her family and friends at what is obviously a totally devastating time for them."

He said there would be extra officers in the area "to offer reassurance - so please talk to them if you have any concerns or want to provide us with any information".

It is thought Ms Ashton was last seen alive by a friend in the Eccles area shortly before 02:00 BST on Saturday

Mr Shenton said Cope was still likely to be in Salford and that his family knew police were looking for him.

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Media captionDet Chief Supt Darren Shenton made a direct appeal to the public

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