Suicide pact theory being investigated after man's dead body found in Seven Sisters park (From The Argus)
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Suicide pact theory being investigated after man's dead body found in Seven Sisters park
8:00am Saturday 7th September 2013 in News
A murder investigation has been launched after an elderly man was found dead at a beauty spot - police fear he was killed in a suicide pact gone wrong.
The body of the man in his 70s was found in a coastal path at Cuckmere Haven, Seven Sisters Country Park near Seaford at 2.30am yesterday.
A woman in her 70s has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Yesterday afternoon the woman, understood to be the victim's partner, was under police guard at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
Police sources said she had suffered injuries in the incident and was being treated at the hospital. They said officers were looking into the possibility the couple were involved in a suicide pact, but only he had died.
The woman was set to be interviewed by murder detectives imminently.
Detective Inspector Mark O'Brien, from major crime, confirmed the woman flagged down a passing car - not a police vehicle - during the early hours of yesterday after emerging from the park which is set within South Downs National Park.
Speaking to The Argus, he said: “She came out into the road”.
He added: “The man's body was found in the park”.
Paramedics were subsequently alerted and they called Sussex Police who discovered the man's body after a period. Yesterday a police tent covered the body.
The entrance to the park, which is off the A259 and is managed by East Sussex County Council, was taped off.
It is believed the couple, from Croydon in Greater London, travelled from Brighton to the park by bus.
Acting DCI Jon Fanner yesterday said: "We are appealing to anyone who was in the country park late on Thursday afternoon or evening and may have seen an elderly couple behaving unusually or what would appear to be out of character.
“We also believe they were staying in Brighton so would like to hear from anyone who was on a bus travelling from the city to the Seven Sisters area and who saw an elderly couple get off at this location.
"This is clearly a very tragic case in which a man has lost his life.”
The manager of a cafe at the Seven Sister Country Park said: “We weren't aware of anything at all. The first we knew was when we saw the police. It's extremely sad. It's not what you expect at all.”
A member of staff at the County Park visitor centre said: “It's quite a shock. This sort of thing doesn't usually happen around here. It's very sad of course.”
A post mortem will be carried out today to establish how the victim died.
Yesterday the car park at Exceat was closed, along with the park to the east side of the old river meanders.
The car park at Litlington remained open, along with the park's visitor centre.
If you can help police please call Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Arran.
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