Police granted extra time to quiz double murder suspect


Magistrates have granted police more time to question a 34-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the murder of two women.

Police have confirmed the two women who died in two separate attacks in Redcar, just minutes apart, were Lynne Freeman, 46, and Jodie Betteridge, 30.

A 34-year-old man arrested shortly after the incident is continuing to be questioned.

A Cleveland Police spokesman said: "Police attended Teesside Magistrates' Court last night where magistrates authorised an extension of his detention.

"This allows the investigation team to detain the man for a further period of time while they continue their inquiries.

"We are aware that two women have been named locally as the victims and, while formal identification has not yet taken place, we believe the victims are 46-year-old Lynne Freeman and 30-year-old Jodie Betteridge.

"Their families are receiving appropriate support from specially trained officers."

He said a post mortem examination has taken place regarding one victim and the post mortem examination for the other victim is due to take place later.

Officers said they they received a report that a woman had been seriously injured at an address in Mapleton Crescent, Redcar, at 8.45pm on Wednesday evening.

Just seven minutes later, at 8.52pm, a second report was received from a member of the public reporting that a woman was being violently assaulted in Byland Close.

Paying tribute to Miss Betteridge, Theresa Largan, 51, said that Jodie was like one of her own children.

"Jodie lived for her kids," she said. "I don't think I ever saw her on her own, she always had the tribe with her. I just want the family to know that we are all thinking of her and them."

A floral tribute for Jodie was left near the scene at Byland Close. The flowers dedicated to her said that "thoughts are with your beautiful children".

One 29-year-old man, who asked to be identified only as Danny, said he had known Jodie since they were teenagers, and described his friend as a "lovely girl".

"She was always smiley, she loved her kids - she lived for them. It is absolutely devastating what has happened, I can't get my head around it," he said.

Temporary Detective Superintendent Tariq Ali said on Thursday: "We are treating both incidents as murder inquiries and specially trained family liaison officers have been assigned to the victims' families who are understandably shocked and saddened by these tragic events."