Blackpool Murder: Burning Body Found In Alley

Two people are being held as part of a murder investigation after the body of a 16-year-old girl was found burning in an alley.

Police have cordoned off the area in South Shore, Blackpool, where Sasha Marsden's body was discovered, and specialist forensic officers were searching a nearby hotel.

A 22-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were arrested nearby and are being questioned by police.

Sasha was a student at Blackpool and Fylde College who lived in the Staining area with her parents.

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Andy Murphy said: "This is an incredibly difficult and complex enquiry and we are working to try and build up a picture of what happened.

"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."

A post-mortem examination is thought to have been carried out on Friday evening.

Carl Evans, owner of the nearby Kimber Guest House, told Sky News he spotted the fire when he walked out into his back garden on Thursday evening.

"I heard the alarms going and saw the smoke, but I thought it was just someone burning rubbish," he said.

He added that some residents had attempted to put out the flames before realising it was a body on fire.

"The lass two doors up said someone seemed to have put something out - like a mannequin - but it turned out to be the body of a 16-year-old girl."

Friends paid tribute to the victim on a Facebook page called RIP Sasha Marsden.

Jordan Silkstone wrote: "Way too young, what this town coming too.. R.I.p huni x."

Emma James wrote: "R.I.P Sasha. I didn't know you very long but you was such a good mate.

"I will miss our little facebook chats. You always knew how to cheer me up when I was down. I hope the people who did this to you get what they deserve. Miss you always beautiful. Xxx."

Anyone with information can call Blackpool police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.