Murder inquiry over woman's death in Stewarton
Police have launched a murder inquiry following the death of a 53-year-old woman at a house in East Ayrshire.
Officers found Andrena Douglas dead in her home in Crusader Crescent, Stewarton, at about 06:20 on Thursday.
They had gone there to tell her that her partner had been seriously injured following a fire at nearby Peacockbank Farm, Stewarton, at about 05:15.
Det Insp Martin Fergus said police could not rule out the incidents being linked and appealed for witnesses.
He said: "Officers had attended at Ms Douglas's home to inform her that her partner had been found seriously injured following a fire at nearby Peacockbank Farm, Stewarton, around 0515 hours on Thursday 9 June, but they found her dead in the house.
"We are currently following a number of lines of inquiry regarding both incidents and whilst at this time we cannot link Ms Douglas' death and the fire in which her partner was injured, we also cannot rule it out.
"However, it is imperative that people do not make assumptions as this may seriously hinder our inquiry."
He added: "What we need to do is establish what happened between 2000 hours on Wednesday 8 June when Ms Douglas was last seen and 0600 hours on Thursday morning (9 June) when she was found.
"To this end, I would appeal to anyone who was in the area, who may have seen any suspicious activity - whether that be a vehicle or someone on foot in the area - to contact police."
He said Ms Douglas' partner was still critically ill in hospital and officers had so far been unable to talk to him.
"How and why the fire started has still to be established and a joint investigation between police and Scottish Fire and Rescue is under way."
He urged anyone with information to contact police or Crimestoppers.