Residents say a murder investigation has rocked their “quiet” neighbourhood after a man’s body was found in a block of flats.

Homeowners in St Botolph's Road in Worthing say they are shocked by the discovery of the scene of a suspected murder in their street filled with a nursery, care homes and retirement flats.

It comes after an elderly man’s body was found on Friday evening by police officers who have now launched a murder investigation. One suspect has been arrested and remains in custody.

George and Susan Emerson, who live just a few doors down from Aspen Court where Sussex Police continue to investigate, say the road is normally a “quiet residential area”.

George, 69, said: “We’re quite shocked. We’ve lived here for 12 years, and we’ve not seen anything like it on our street.

“I saw the tape and police cars when I was going to work on Saturday morning when I went off to work.”

Susan, 62, added: “It’s a quiet residential area, you don’t expect things like that to happen.

“There’s a lot of older couples around here and a lot of care homes.”

The Argus: Sussex Police officers at St Botolph's Road in Worthing yesterdaySussex Police officers at St Botolph's Road in Worthing yesterday (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

On a quiet Sunday morning with church bells ringing in the distance police remained at the block of flats at the centre of the murder investigation.

The 72-year-old man was found dead inside the building. A 46-year-old man from Crawley was arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.

Reacting to the news, an anonymous resident said she had “not seen anything like it” in nearly 40 years of living in West Worthing.

Living in nearby Rugby Road, she said: “I passed here yesterday morning and saw two police officers.

“I’m very surprised, it’s a quiet neighbourhood, a very, very quiet area. It always felt very safe.”

Residents said that incidents are out of character for the area – but that this is not the first time a man’s body has been found in the neighbourhood.

In 2017, Stephen Frith’s body was found in his flat on Tarring Road near Harrow Road in Worthing – one street along from St Botolph's Road.

The 58-year-old’s murder remains unsolved.

Tarring Road resident Darren, 47, said he was “quite shocked” having moved into his house four years ago.

The Argus: Aspen Court in St Botolph's Road, WorthingAspen Court in St Botolph's Road, Worthing (Image: The Argus)

He said: “St Botolph's is a nice road and a nice area.

“I lived in the road when I was a teenager. You wouldn’t think it would happen on a street like that.”

Sussex Police continue to maintain their presence in the road as enquiries are ongoing.

Detective Chief Inspector Craig Emmerson said: “We have launched a murder investigation, and our thoughts are with the man’s family at this extremely difficult time.

“We are extremely keen to speak with anyone with information about what happened.

"There will be an increased police presence in the area to provide reassurance to anyone who is concerned about this incident.”

Information can be reported to Sussex Police online or on 101, quoting Operation Orchid.