A 52-year-old man is arrested after the woman, who has not been identified, was killed in a suspected knife attack in Colchester.
A woman has died after being attacked in Colchester – and police say her full Muslim dress and veil may have been a factor.
The woman, who has not yet been identified, was walking on the town’s Salary Brook Trail at 10.40am on Tuesday when she was violently beaten and attacked with a knife or other bladed weapon.
Paramedics tried to save her but she died at the scene from injuries to her head and body.
Essex Police have said the woman, who was in her 30s, was wearing a dark navy blue full length robe (known as an Abaya) and a patterned multi-coloured Hijab headscarf.
Detective Superintendent Tracy Hawkings said officers were keeping an open mind about the motive of the attack.
But she added: “We are conscious that the dress of the victim will have identified her as likely being a Muslim and this is one of the main lines of the investigation, but again there is no firm evidence at this time that she was targeted because of her religion.”
A 52-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.
Detectives want to hear from anyone who used the trail between 8.30am and 11am on the day of the killing.
They have also asked residents to check their gardens and rubbish bins for any discarded weapons or blood stained clothing.
A post-mortem examination is due to take place on Wednesday afternoon.
Officers have said they are not ruling out a link between this murder and that of James Attfield, a vulnerable man with brain damage who died after being stabbed more than 100 times at a park in the town in March.
Officers will be carrying out additional patrols in the area.