Two people have been arrested on suspicion of murder after police searching for a missing pensioner found a body at her house.
Widow Cynthia Beamond, aged 80, had been missing since Friday, sparking a major police appeal.
After two days of extensive searches by police and members of the public a body was discovered at the Halesowen home of the charity worker.
The grim discovery was made by police at her home in Juliet Road early yesterday evening.
Although the body has yet to be formally identified, it is believed to be that of the pensioner.
A post mortem will be carried out at the ‘earliest opportunity’, police have said.
The two people arrested are a 32-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman. They remain in police custody today.
Today a blue police tent was outside Mrs Beamond’s semi-detached property with a cordon around it. A police car was also parked outside the house which is at the top of the small cul-de-sac.
Reporter Adam Grinsell will be tweeting live from a police press conference regarding the murder from 2pm today:
Detective Superintendent Tim Bacon said: “Mrs Beamond’s property has been searched by specialist officers in a bid to preserve as much evidence as possible.
“We continue to support Cynthia’s family at this time and they have been kept fully updated of these developments.”
Officers are trying to find Mrs Beamond’s car, a silver Vauxhall Astra 1.6 with registration T419 MDA.
Residents in Juliet Road said police had been making door to door inquiries.
They said Mrs Beamond was a churchgoer and keen charity worker. Neighbours said Mrs Beamond had worked for the West Midlands and Warwickshire Co-workers Group, an organisation which supported Mother Teresa’s work in India.
Neighbour Amar Sharma, who has lived in the street for 25 years, said he was shocked by what had happened.
He said: “It’s terrible. She’s a very, very nice lady.
“She has always been very kind and generous. She has also been very close to my children. She did a lot of charity work.
“She was always collecting clothes and shoes to give to charities helping underprivileged people in Dudley.”
Another neighbour in Juliet Road said: “Everybody here knew her so it’s very upsetting.”
A woman living in nearby Alison Road said: “I can’t believe it. I knew something had happened because the police came around to ask if I had any cameras up.”
Another resident said: “It’s a quiet street so it’s a very concerning. From what people have told me she’s a very pleasant lady so what could have led to this terrible tragedy, I don’t know.”
Another Juliet Road resident said: “She’s a devoted churchgoer and a very nice person.
“It’s been a complete shock to everyone here.
“By my understanding she has lived here for a long time. She’s a lovely lady.”
Community leaders have also spoken of their shock this morning.
Halesowen South Councillor Alan Taylor said: “It is a quiet area for crime and to have something like this happen is a shock. You just don’t expect it.
“The quicker it is solved the better. I feel for the family and close neighbours at this time and my thought and condolences go out to them.”
Hayley Green and Cradley South Councillor Ken Turner said: “I am sorry to hear this has happened. It’s very sad.”
In the police appeal to find Mrs Beamond on Saturday, officers said they was growing concern for Cynthia’s welfare and from speaking to her family her disappearance was ‘completely out of character’.
Detective Inspector Jim Munro described her as ‘a very independent lady’ who lived on her own.
He said the force had a growing concern about Mrs Beamond’s welfare, and her disappearance was ‘completely out of character’.
Juliet Road is a small road off Alison Road with 12 houses. It is close to Junction 3 of the M5.
Police are continuing their appeal for information today. Anyone who can help is asked to call local police on 101.