Two people have been arrested after the body of a 16-year-old girl was found burning in an alley in Blackpool.
Police have cordoned off the alley off Kirby Road, South Shore where the body was found and specialist forensic officers are searching a nearby hotel.
A 22-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were arrested nearby and are now being questioned by police.
Lancashire Police said the victim was believed to be Sasha Marsden, a student at Blackpool and Fylde College who lived in the Staining area with her parents.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Superintendent Andy Murphy from the Force Major Investigation Team 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 port mortem is planned for Friday evening.
Carl Evans, owner of the 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 is asked to call the Major Incident Room at Blackpool on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Article source: http://news.sky.com/story/1046371