Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Ex-detective held in murder probe

A woman's body has been discovered at Blackdown Woods near Lurgashall, West Sussex
Police officers search at the scene near where the body of a policewoman was found

A former detective is still being questioned in connection with the murder of his partner, who was a policewoman.

The body of Heather Cooper, 33, who served with the Surrey force, was found on Sunday in woodland in West Sussex.

Officers were called shortly before 11.30pm to a report of a concern for safety and firstly attended an address in West Street, Haslemere, Surrey, where mother-of-two Miss Cooper lived.

Following inquiries, they then went to Blackdown Woods near Lurgashall, West Sussex, where a search of the woodland led to the discovery of the body concealed in undergrowth about four miles from the house.

Miss Cooper's partner, Peter Foster, 35, was then detained by police. He is believed now to be a heating engineer after leaving Surrey Police around two years ago.

Police have cordoned off an area of National Trust woodland were the body was found while forensic officers carry out their investigations.

The detached house in Haslemere is still also cordoned off as police forensic teams examine the property.

Miss Cooper has not yet been formally identified but police stress the two were not married. A post-mortem examination is expected to take place on Tuesday afternoon at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, police said.

Dominique Chapman, 44, who lives opposite the couple, said: "They were a very close family, they went out as a family, at the weekends - they have two small children. Heather did not come from round here but Peter did, they had only been living here for about a year. I cannot believe this has happened."

She added: "He is a very nice man - very, very kind and generous, a good plumber who takes his shoes off when he comes into the house."

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