Woman knifed to death in hallway of her home
Police have launched a murder inquiry into the death of Sadie Hartley, 60, who was company director at Hartley Taylor Medical Communications Ltd, in Knutsford, Cheshire.
But another of her companies, Hartley Taylor Equine Ltd, which has been dissolved, was based at the Old Barn Mill Farm, Fleetwood Road, Wesham.
Mrs Hartley, a married mother-of-two, was found just after 10.20pm on Friday at her large detached, stone-built house on Sunny Bank Road in Helmshore, Rossendale. Police believe she died the day before.
Mrs Hartley worked in medical advertising in the Cheshire area but police do not think that had any relevance to the murder inquiry. Officers are looking into the possibility that the crime may have been linked to a burglary.
Det Supt Paul Withers, whon is leading the investigation, said: “This was an horrific attack on a 60-year-old lady in her home address.
“She is a decent lady, clearly living in a lovely area of Helmshore and it’s imperative we find the person responsible.
“She is not known to the police before. She is a thoroughly decent lady, a successful businesswoman who worked very very hard and certainly didn’t deserve to end her life in this manner.
“It’s certainly a ferocious attack on a lady in her own home alone so we are all absolutely determined to find out who’s done it so they can face the courts and have a very lengthy custodial sentence.”
Det Supt Withers added that the police were pursuing a ‘number of lines on enquiry’ and said forensic and CCTV enquiries are ongoing.
Officers want to trace a Renault Clio car and three other people seen in CCTV footage of the area at about 8pm on Thursday.
Hartley Taylor said in a statement: “It is with very deep regret that the company announces the sad death of Mrs Sadie Hartley.
“Sadie was a co-founder of the company in 2000 and has been integral to the success of Hartley Taylor Ltd.
“At this very difficult time, our thoughts are with her son and daughter, family, friends and loved ones.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting incident reference 1481 of January 15, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
A 34-year-old woman was arrested in Chester on Sunday, on suspicion of murder and was being questioned by police in custody.