Woman stabbed to death on Bournemouth beach named locally as Amie Gray

<span>Dorset police have asked for help identifying a suspect seen in CCTV images and have told the public not to approach him.</span><span>Photograph: Dorset Police/PA</span>
Dorset police have asked for help identifying a suspect seen in CCTV images and have told the public not to approach him.Photograph: Dorset Police/PA

A woman stabbed to death on a beach in the seaside town of Bournemouth has been named locally as Amie Gray, a sports coach who has been described as a beloved mother, wife and friend.

A 17-year-old boy who was arrested on suspicion of her murder has been released without charge, Dorset police have said, adding that they were stepping up their hunt for the killer. On Monday they released CCTV images of a suspect and warned members of the public not to approach him.

Officers combed the beach and the surrounding areas as holidaymakers sunbathed nearby. Family and friends paid tribute to Gray, 34, from Poole, who was the women’s head coach at Dorset futsal club.

Some scattered petals on to the sea at Durley Chine beach as the sun went down on Sunday and posted on social media: “Sunsets will always remind us of you, Amie Gray. Forever loved wife and mother.”

Gray and a second woman, 38, were stabbed at 11.45pm on Friday. The second woman was seriously injured and is still being treated in hospital.

Police renewed their appeal to identify the suspect from CCTV images. The force said: “A 17-year-old boy from Lancashire was arrested on suspicion of murder. Following inquiries over the weekend, he has now been released without charge and eliminated from inquiries.”

Det Supt Richard Dixey, of the major crime investigation team, said: “The investigation into this tragic incident is progressing and detectives are dedicated to finding out what happened and ensuring our communities remain safe and secure.

“We need the public’s help to identify the suspect in the CCTV images. If you recognise him or have any information, no matter how small, that may lead us to his identity, please get in touch immediately. We would ask the public not to approach a suspect under any circumstances, but to call 999 immediately.

“Officers and staff from across the force are out in the town conducting extensive inquiries, including house-to-house visits, so the public will see a very overt and planned police presence in and around the Bournemouth area.

“We do not take lightly the impact this tragic incident will have on our communities and many members of the public will be concerned. There remains an enhanced and visible policing presence in the area with officers who can be approached if the public feel in any way concerned.”

A friend of Gray posted on social media: “She was always the kindest lovely young girl and continued to be so throughout her cruelly cut short life.”

Another said: “Fly high, Amie Gray, I’ll miss you so much. I feel so heavy! You were such a good friend and someone I could call about anything. A beautiful person inside and out. Thank you for all the laughs and memories I will cherish for ever.” A third added: “You lit up the room with your fun and bubbly presence.”

Floral tributes have been left at both ends of the mile-long cordon. Officers with metal detectors and sniffer dogs have been seen combing the beach and clambering up the cliffs.

Dorset futsal club posted on its Facebook page: “The club has received some truly devastating news. We cannot put this into words at this time and as a mark of respect to all those affected, we will not be posting anything new for the foreseeable future.”

Residents spoke of their concerns at the incident and at crime in general in the area. One, who did not want to be named, said: “There’s definitely been a noticeable increase in antisocial behaviour and crime in Bournemouth in the last few years. It’s alarming.”

A couple who rent a beach hut and wanted to remain anonymous said: “We are definitely worried by this incident, but we wouldn’t walk around the beach late at night anyway.”