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Man arrested in mother-of-four Caroline Andrews murder probe

Published 05/02/2016

Kent Police are carrying out searches throughout the county
Kent Police are carrying out searches throughout the county

A man wanted over the suspicious death of a mother-of-four has been arrested as police confirmed they are treating the incident as murder.

Kent Police said they made " extensive searches" to locate the 54-year-old after they discovered the body of Caroline Andrews, 52, at a property in The Street in Benenden on Thursday.

A post-mortem examination took place earlier today and the death is now being treated as a murder inquiry.

The man was located in the London area this afternoon and taken to hospital for treatment to injuries.

The arrest follows a manhunt involving armed officers, which saw police carry out searches throughout the county, including the rail network.

Neighbour Derek Catlin said Mrs Andrews lived at the property with her husband Stuart and their four children aged from around early to late teens, along with their two dogs.

Retired chartered surveyed Mr Catlin, 71, described the family as "normal, very pleasant people".

He said: "I went out at about 4pm to the fish shop up the road, I came back but all was quiet, then the police arrived at about 4.30pm.

"All I saw was an accumulation of police vehicles, probably three police cars and later a detective interviewed my wife and I.

"I have been here for three years. We knew them as neighbours but I feel shock really, because there was nothing to make us think there was anything peculiar."

He believed Mr Andrews was involved in the agricultural industry and that Mrs Andrews was involved with one of the local schools.

"They were very normal, very pleasant people. This makes us all feel very odd. The police say there is nothing to worry about," he said.

"It's an extraordinary thing to happen on your doorstep."

Another local, Karen Callaghan, 49, said: "People here have been saying it's a domestic dispute gone wrong.

"It's very sad for the village. Everyone knows everyone round here. The locals have been here a long time."

A police cordon was in place outside the large property - a bungalow called Greenacres - on a sprawling private estate opposite the village green.

The scene is down the road from the exclusive Benenden School and off the village's main street.

As part of the investigation, armed police boarded a train on Thursday night in Gillingham, in the north of the county.

The spokesman said a search was launched after officers were called about the woman's death earlier in the day, at 4.20pm.

Armed police held the train at Gillingham station from around 9pm on Thursday for more than an hour-and-a-half.

Footage shows officers walking down the train carriage holding guns, with one distressed passenger demanding to be let off because he was claustrophobic.

A policeman can be heard saying: "It is a very serious incident and we can't really say what it is about, but you can see we are taking it very seriously."

Other travellers were reportedly not allowed on to the platform while the train was being searched.

Mrs Andrews was a "well-respected" supply teacher at Benenden C of E Primary School, based a short distance from her home.

Headteacher Gill Knox said: "The tragic death of Caroline Andrews has left the staff at Benenden C of E School shocked and saddened.

"Caroline and her family live in the village and are well known at the school. Caroline has been a loved and well-respected supply teacher for a number of years who has enriched the lives of the many children she taught.

"At the present time we cannot comment on what has happened but our thoughts and prayers are with her family and all who knew her and will miss her."

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