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Did she know her killer? Police treat death of university graduate found in burnt car as suspicious

By This is Devon  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

Police are trying to establish whether a university graduate whose body was found in a burning car knew her killer.

Catherine Wells-Burr, aged 23, was discovered in her red Ford Focus, abandoned in a field by the side of a road in Somerset.

Firefighters were alerted to the blazing five-door vehicle shortly before 6.30am on Wednesday off the A358 in Ashill, near Ilminster.

Fire crews extinguished the flames and discovered the body of the Bath Spa University graduate inside the wreckage.

Avon and Somerset detectives have confirmed they are treating her “tragic and brutal” death as suspicious.

One of the theories police are working on is that Miss Wells-Burr knew her killer but officers are not ruling out a random attack.

On August 25, Miss Wells-Burr updated the cover photo on her Facebook profile with a picture of a woman covering her face with a book.

Accompanying the picture was the cryptic message: “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.”

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp, who is leading the investigation, said: “I am making a double appeal today.

Firstly for those people that may have witnessed Catherine and her red Ford Focus arriving at the scene which is alongside the A358 near Ilminster.

“Did anybody see that car arrive? Did anybody see suspicious people arrive or leave the scene at about 6am to 6.30am on a busy road? We need you to call us.

“The second part of the appeal is to help us understand Catherine’s private and social life.

“Did she know her killer is the question that we’re asking ourselves. Did she arrange to meet somebody at the location where she met her death? These are the things we are seriously considering.”

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