Body of schoolgirl, 16, found burning behind hotel as a man and woman are arrested over her deathGirl was in the 'foetal position' and found burning in a Blackpool alleywayNeighbours thought they were putting out a mannequin that was on firePolice arrest a 22-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman
14:17 GMT, 1 February 2013
16:02 GMT, 1 February 2013
A schoolgirl's burning body was found in an alleyway in Blackpool yesterday by hoteliers who mistook her for a mannequin.
Hoteliers tried to put out the flames which had engulfed the 16-year-old's body by throwing bowls of water on her.
At first they thought they were dousing a model but then realised it was a human body when they saw blood stains.
Gruesome: A police officer guards the scene where a schoolgirl's curled up body was found burning
A police forensic tent covers the area where the girl was doused by neighbours thinking they were pouring water on a mannequin
Detectives have launched a murder investigation and arrested a man and a woman close to the scene in Kirby Road shortly after the discovery.
Carl Evans, 35, owner of the Kimber House Hotel who found the body said: 'The first thing I knew something was wrong was when the fire or smoke alarm went off next door.
'The alarm was raised a short time later when one of our other neighbours was out walking his dog and came across what turned out to be a burning body.
'We ran outside and there was three of us trying to put the flames out, but it was too late.'
'The girl was in the foetal position. She looked as if she had no legs.
'She was quite small.'
Detective Superintendent Andy Murphy said a large police team was working on the case
Crime scene investigators are carrying out forensic searches of the alley and at an address in Kirby Road, which is a few blocks off the Promenade.
Officers are checking local CCTV cameras and carrying out house-to-house inquiries.
Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Andy Murphy said: 'This is a murder inquiry and we are dealing with the suspicious death of a 16-year-old girl.
'I would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time last night to come forward and contact the police.
'We have a large team of highly trained police officers working on this investigation and we are determined to find out exactly what happened.
'It is difficult to imagine what the girl's family are going through and we have specially trained family liaison officers working with them to offer them support.
'We will be keeping them informed of the progress of our investigation.'
Police are particularly keen for anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the Kirby Road area between 4pm and 9.15pm yesterday to come forward.
In its heyday it was one of the
busiest tourist areas in Blackpool getting vast amounts of custom from
the nearby Coliseum coach station.
Now it has seen better times and
exists in the shadow of Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road ground and the
business is predominently weekend based.