Police probe teenage girl's murder

News Shopper: Sasha Marsden was found dead in the South Shore area of Blackpool on Thursday night (Lancashire Police/PA) Sasha Marsden was found dead in the South Shore area of Blackpool on Thursday night (Lancashire Police/PA)

Police are continuing to question a man after a teenage college student was repeatedly stabbed in a frenzied attack before her body was set alight.

Sasha Marsden, 16, was found in a rear alley behind a bed and breakfast hotel in Blackpool on Thursday night.

A post-mortem examination found the "friendly" and "considerate" childcare student was stabbed in the face and head before her body was set on fire in Kirby Road in the resort's South Shore area.

Passers-by are reported to have thought it was a shop dummy that was burning.

A 22-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman, both from Blackpool, were arrested close to the scene of the brutal attack and shortly after the grisly discovery was made. The woman was later released without charge, but on Saturday police were granted more time to question the man.

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: "Following the death of Sasha Marsden, a Home Office post-mortem examination has been carried out and has found that Sasha died as a result of receiving significant stab wounds to the head and face. It also showed that attempts were made to set the body on fire and this was after Sasha had died.

"The results have been shared with the family, and specially trained officers are continuing to support them. Detectives have been granted a warrant of further detention in respect of a 22-year-old man and he will be detained at Blackpool police station for a further 36 hours."

Sasha was in the first year of a childcare course at Blackpool and The Fylde College and lived with her parents in Staining, near Blackpool.

In a tribute to her, Mandy Pritchard, head of the college's school for society, health and childhood, said she was "a friendly, considerate individual who cared about her fellow students".

Numerous tributes were paid to the youngster on a Facebook page set up in her memory. Graham Hilton wrote: "our sincere and heart felt condolences to sasha's mum dad and all family and friends at this tragic time. no words anyone can say can be enough to make the hurt go away. from all the hilton family."

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