Sasha Marsden found dead in Blackpool alleyway

Blackpool crime scene
Image caption The body of Sasha Marsden was found in an alleyway

The body of a 16-year old girl has been found in an alleyway in Blackpool.

Formal identification has yet to take place but it is believed she is Sasha Marsden from Staining.

She was found at 21:15 GMT on Thursday in an alleyway off Kirby Road, South Shore. Police believe there were attempts to set fire to her body.

A man, 22, and a woman, 20, arrested near the scene, are being questioned on suspicion of murder. A post-mortem examination will take place later.

Set fire

Police said Miss Marsden lived with her parents and was studying childcare at Blackpool and The Fylde College.

Det Supt Andy Murphy from Lancashire Police said: "This is an incredibly difficult and complex inquiry and we are working to try and build up a picture of what happened last night.

"From examining the body, it appears to us that someone has attempted to set fire to Sasha and this is a line of enquiry that we are looking into.

"This is an incredibly difficult time for the family and we are keeping them informed of our investigation.

"Our officers will be supporting them as they attempt to come to terms with what has happened."

Police said patrols in the area have been stepped up.

Supt Eddie Newton said: "We believe that this is an isolated incident and that there is no risk to the public.

"We have two people in custody helping with the investigation and detectives are following a number of different lines of inquiry."

Mandy Pritchard, head of school for society, health and childhood at Blackpool and The Fylde College, said Miss Marsden was "a friendly, considerate individual who cared about her fellow students".

She said: "Since enrolling with us last September, [Sasha] had been making fantastic progress.

"Sasha worked hard and was looking forward to carrying out a work placement and progressing to Level 2 and ultimately a career in childcare.

"Her classmates are understandably upset and the college is offering all the support it can at this difficult time. Our thoughts are with Sasha's family."

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