Hereford & Worcester

Bewdley murder victim Betty Yates 'extremely caring'

Betty Yates
Image caption Betty Yates, 77, was a retired teacher who had taught in the Wyre Forest

The family of a retired teacher found murdered in Worcestershire have described her as a "vivacious person" who was "extremely caring".

Betty Yates, 77, was found dead from a stab wound at her riverside home, Riverscroft, off Dowles Road, about two miles from Bewdley.

Mrs Yates, who taught locally before she retired, had lived at Riverscroft for more than 30 years.

Police cordons remain on the track to her secluded cottage.

Mrs Yates, who was a widow, is survived by her daughter Hazel, son David and sister Joan.

Police said she had lived at her address alone for the past seven years since the death of her husband Raymond, who she had been married to for more than 50 years.

Before his death, he had been the director of a Pensnett-based company called Zone Controls.

Her body was found on Wednesday after a friend raised the alarm when they were unable to contact her.

'Treasured memories'

A family tribute, released by her son and daughter, said: "Our mother was a vivacious, independent and popular person.

Image caption Mrs Yates's body was found on Wednesday after an alarm was raised by a friend

"She had a lovely character and was extremely caring. She was also very fit and active for her age.

"Naturally we are extremely shocked and saddened at the manner of her death and at this time we do not know whether we will ever come to terms with that."

They added they were grateful they had all got together over Christmas from when they had their "final, treasured memories" of her.

"We will always remember her with love and affection - as well as being our mother she was a true lady," they said.

"We do not understand why or how anybody could have done this and we would urge anyone who has any idea about who is responsible or has any information at all to come forward and tell the police."

A page has been set up in Mrs Yates's memory on Facebook.

Comments posted described her as "a very special lady" and a "fantastic teacher" who looked after her pupils.

A police spokesman said Mrs Yates was well known in the area and was a member of Wyre Forest University of the Third Age, an activities group for older people.

She hosted book readings at her home and was also a member of local art and walking groups as well as Bewdley Civic Society.

Police cordons remain preventing access to the track leading to her secluded riverside cottage while forensic examinations continue at the property and on surrounding land.

More than 40 police officers and staff are working on the murder inquiry, based from a major incident room set up at Stourport Police Station.

Information can be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites