Police probe teenage girl's murder

Preston and Leyland Citizen: 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 investigating the murder of a caring teenage college student who suffered multiple stab wounds in a frenzied attack before an attempt was made to burn her body.

Detectives are continuing to question a man over the killing of 16-year-old Sasha Marsden.

The "friendly" and "considerate" childcare student was found in a rear alley behind a bed and breakfast hotel in Blackpool on Thursday night.

A post-mortem examination has revealed that Sasha received "significant" stab wounds to the head and face before attempts were made to set her body on fire.

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 in Kirby Road in the resort's South Shore area. The female suspect was later released without charge but detectives were granted extra time to quiz the man they have detained.

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."

On Friday, specialist crime scene investigators carried out forensic searches of the alley behind Kirby Road and at the Grafton House hotel on the same road, which is a few streets off the Promenade.

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".

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