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Tributes paid to Sussex woman Debbie Levey
A care home manager has been found dead in her countryside cottage.
Sussex Police have launched a murder investigation after 44-year-old Debbie Levey, who grew up in Brighton and was a huge Seagulls fan, was found dead in her home on Monday morning (January 28).
A friend of Ms Levey, who rented her home from 77-year-old farmer Eric Bulbeck, said she had been told how she was “sitting on the settee with a rug around her shoulder” when she was found.
Police are looking into Ms Levey's use of dating websites as part of their enquiry, although confirmed she did not meet the man arrested on suspicion of her murder on such a website.
Yesterday Ms Levey’s friend Anna-Marie Lee paid tribute to her.
She said: “[She was] the most amazing loving friend, mother, daughter and sister anyone would want.
“I will miss her forever, we all will.
“I know she went to school in Brighton and came to Chichester as an adult.
“She still went to Brighton – and of course her love of Brighton and Hove Albion.”
Mrs Lee’s daughter Karrie-Ann Lee said: “She had so much going for her – a manager of a care home, a lovely little cottage, a beautiful daughter who is left heartbroken by her loss and so many friends that were her rocks through every hard time.”
Saddened Ms Levey had been manager at Places For People care home in Gilmore Road, Chichester, for the last seven years and lived in her cottage with her 16-year-old daughter.
A Places For People spokesman said: “We are all deeply saddened by the death of Debbie, and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this very sad time.”
Police said Ms Levey, understood to have been dating a taxi driver and to have been married twice, was last seen alive at 12.30pm on Sunday (January 27) at her home in Cherry Tree Cottage on the B2178 in East Ashling, Chichester.
Her body was found shortly before 8am on Sunday when officers were called to her home by paramedics.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Pollard yesterday (January 29) said: “While initially it was thought that we were dealing with a sudden death, officers became increasingly suspicious of the circumstances.
“At this stage our enquiries lead us to believe that this may not have been a natural death and a murder inquiry was launched on Monday.”
A 45-year-old man from Selsey, known to Ms Levey, has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He has been released on conditional police bail until February 21 while enquiries continue.
A post-mortem at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester, did not find any obvious cause of death, and further forensic tests will now take place over the coming days. We have no specific timescale for the completion of that work.
Anyone with information should call Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Dive.
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