Eastbourne murder: first photograph of victim released

Detectives investigating the death of Eastbourne woman Emma Crowhurst have released the first available photograph of her.

Emma, 36, of Albion Road was found on the pavement in Chawbrook Road, Eastbourne at the junction with Dudley Road and Havelock Road, near her home address, just before midnight on Sunday 26 April, having sustained a head injury.

Emma Crowhurst. Picture supplied by Sussex Police

Emma Crowhurst. Picture supplied by Sussex Police

She was taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital and was transferred to Hurstwood Park Hospital. She died on May 11 and a post mortem examination found she died from the head injury.

On Sunday evening, May 24, between 7pm and 1am, uniform officers and PCSOs were in Seaside, Firle Road, Havelock Road and Chawbrook Road, where there is a fire station. They talked to passers-by to ask if they were in the area at a similar time exactly four weeks previously, and if they saw anything suspicious.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Ashcroft, who is leading the investigation, said, “We have had a good response from people who have contacted us already, and are still assessing the feedback we received on Sunday evening, although there are no new leads at this time.

“However we hope that Emma’s photograph may jog memories and cause more people to come forward who could help.

“It is vitally important to establish Emma’s movements before she was assaulted and I’m appealing to anyone that has any information, however small they may think it is, to get in contact with us.

“Several people have also described an argument between a man and a woman just before midnight. This argument may have lead to Emma being found in the road with the, ultimately, fatal injuries. I am making a specific appeal to anyone who went to Emma’s assistance before the police and ambulance teams arrived in Chawbrook Road, and to anyone who was there or in Dudley Road or Havelock Road at that time.

“But we need to hear from anyone who saw anything unusual in the area earlier that evening, which could help build the picture of what happened.

“Emma was seen in the town at 7pm in Seaside at the junction with Firle Road, by Buskers bar.

“There is also CCTV footage of a woman, believed to be Emma, near to the telephone boxes on Seaside between Belmore Road and Firle Road. This was just after 11pm”.

“We think Emma got home sometime after 11.15pm, and then went out to fetch her cats, which was her normal routine. It was whilst she was in the process of doing that the argument was heard.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting Operation Shortgate. Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Her mother, Marina Crowhurst has said, “Emma was a lovely girl, loved by her family and friends who had a heart of gold. This is a massive, irreplaceable loss and we want the person responsible for this brought to justice. We have every faith in Sussex Police and fully support their investigation.”

See the video above for an interview with DCI Ashcroft.

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