Tragedy of woman found dead in parked car near Eastbourne seafront

Neighbours called police after becoming concerned for the woman, who they could see parked in the road
Neighbours called police after becoming concerned for the woman, who they could see parked in the road

A woman has been found dead in a car parked next to The Grand Hotel – almost two weeks after neighbours raised the alarm for her welfare.

The 52-year-old woman was found on Wednesday morning in the vehicle in Silverdale Road after concerned neighbours said they had repeatedly tried to get her some help.

Brenda O’Brien, of Silverdale Road, said she had called social services and police on May 13 after seeing the woman sat in her car – alive – and not leaving for days.

Mrs O’Brien said, “She could have been someone’s mother, daughter, sister or wife. It’s very sad.”

Christine Hedges, who has a house nearby, said police told her there was nothing they could do as the woman wasn’t doing anything illegal.

She said, “Nobody seemed to want to know, they just passed the buck.

“She never left the car. The car looked like it hadn’t been moved for some time. At one point she was slumped to one side. It seems like she wanted to die.”

Mrs Hedges said she approached the car, following police advice, to check on her at the weekend. She said the woman told her she was fine, but there was no evidence of any food or drink in the car.

She said, “She was very polite. I just keep seeing her face. You start asking yourself all these questions.”

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said the death is not being treated as suspicious and the coroner’s officer has been informed.

Inspector Rachel Barrow said, “We had received some reports from the public recently concerned about the woman who appeared to be staying in her car. Officers had spoken to her and checked her welfare. She said she was staying at a local hotel and enjoying the area for a few days.

“When we received another report, officers made enquiries with social services and the mental health triage nurse who also checked on her welfare.”