A 51-year-old man has been arrested in Devon following the discovery of a woman's body in Melksham.

Police had appealed for sightings of Richard Newton, 51, of Bowerhill, Melksham. His car, a blue Volkswagen Polo, was found unattended at Brendon Common, Exmoor, yesterday lunchtime.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said today: "A 51-year-old man was arrested in Dulverton shortly before 9am.

"He is in custody and will be transferred to the Wiltshire force."

The identity of the victim, believd to be in her forties, is expected to be announced by police later today.

Neighbours of the victim are shocked by her death.

One neighbour said: "It's quite a shock for something like this to happen so close to where you live, it's usually quite quiet around here.

"I knew her to say hello to, she had a Jack Russell so I used to see her when she took it for walks.

"The first I knew about it was when I was woken up at about ten to eight this morning by police banging on doors.

"When I opened my curtains I saw all the police outside.

"I knew it was something serious and not just a burglary because I saw the forensics tent."

Another added: "You wouldn't expect something like this around here, it's usually such a quiet area.

"It's quite scary really, it just shows you can never know who to trust."

Anyone with information as to the previous whereabouts of Mr Newton or who may have any information on this incident is asked to call Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800500111 where information can be left anonymously.