British woman, 80, is shot dead at her home in the Costa Blanca
- The body was discovered just after 6.30pm yesterday at property near Alicante
- Detectives are treating it as a murder with no arrests made so far
- Local reports said the unnamed woman had been shot at least three times
A British woman has been found shot dead in her Costa Blanca home.
The victim’s body was discovered just after 6.30pm yesterday after police were called to the £350,000 property in Elche near Alicante.
Detectives have confirmed she was a British pensioner aged 80, who had lived alone for several years since the death of her husband. Cops say they are treating it as a murder but that no arrests have yet been made.
Local reports said the unnamed woman had been shot at least three times at her home on a residential estate called Urbanizacion Torre Azul between Elche and the nearby town of Torrellano.
A source close to the investigation said the possibility she was shot by intruders in a violent burglary had not been ruled out. Police are understood to have increased patrols in the area after complaints from some locals about an increase in the number of break-ins.
File photo of Benidorm. A British woman has been found shot dead in her Costa Blanca home. The victim’s body was discovered just after 6.30pm yesterday after police were called to the property in Elche near Alicante. Detectives have confirmed she was a British pensioner aged 80 and said they are treating it as a murder
Although her body was initially thought to have been discovered by the police after calls from neighbours, one local report said a plumber called to the property by the expat found her lying dead himself and dialled 999.
Officers dealing with inquiries on the crime have not yet been confirmed who discovered her body first.
The plumber was thought to have been called to the property by its owner following a problem caused by heavy rain.
Unconfirmed local reports said he had seen a couple leaving the property as he arrived. The mystery man and woman are said to have driven off in a black Peugeot 207 or 208.
A spokesman for Spain’s National Police said: ‘We are aware of these reports but it is nothing we can comment on at the moment.
‘We are keeping an open mind on the motive although we can confirm the fatal shooting is being treated as a murder at this stage. Suicide has been ruled out.’
One neighbour told Spanish press two strangers he described as a couple dressed in black had been seen walking on the residential estate yesterday afternoon but was unable to offer any more information.
Local reports said the unnamed woman had been shot at least three times at her home on a residential estate called Urbanizacion Torre Azul between Elche and the nearby town of Torrellano
He said: ‘I wasn’t able to leave my house yesterday because I’ve got a problem with my leg. The dead woman lived alone. I knew her from sight.’
The detached villa where the shooting occurred is on a residential estate of around 250 to 300 houses which is home to Spaniards as well as foreign nationals including Brits and Germans.
Although the possibility the homicide occurred during a break-in by a burglar intending to steal valuables has not been ruled out, one local unconfirmed report said investigators were not satisfied that was the case from initial inquiries.
The British woman is thought to have been killed shortly before she was found dead.
A police tape was still in place around her villa today.
A spokesman for Spain’s National Police said: ‘We are investigating the death of a British woman who was shot dead at a property in Elche. We are investigating it as a murder and can confirm she was shot dead.
‘The alarm was raised around 6.30pm on Wednesday. She was 80 years old and lived alone.
‘No arrests have yet been made and the investigation is ongoing. We are not in a position to discuss the possible motive at this stage.’
Police have not confirmed if anything was missing from the crime scene.
The gunshot wounds the victim suffered are thought to have been fired from close range.
A post-mortem is due to take place in Alicante in the coming hours.
This is a breaking news story… more to follow.