POLICE have named a woman murdered in her own home.

She is 34-year-old Jessica Patel.

Ms Patel was found with significant injuries in a house on The Avenue in Middlesbrough last night and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 34-year-old is believed to have been a pharmacist and originally comes from the Leeds area, with neighbours saying that she had moved to The Avenue with her husband around a year ago.

A post-mortem has been carried out but Cleveland Police say the cause of Ms Patel’s death will not be released at this stage for investigative reasons.

Speaking at a press conference today, Detective Superintendent Tariq Ali from Cleveland Police said: “A woman has been murdered in her home.

“At this stage of the investigation we are not able to say much more than this, other than that a team of dedicated officers and specialist staff are now working hard to get to the facts.

“When a murder takes place in our community, perhaps even near our own homes, we aren’t deaf to the fear and worry this causes.

“As soon as we can say more about this crime, we will say more, but please be assured that our neighbourhood teams are increasing patrols in the area and are out and about, happy to speak to anyone to offer reassurance and talk directly to local people.”

This morning, neighbours spoke of their shock after hearing of the woman’s death, while police officers remained stationed outside of her home.

One neighbour said: It's shocking, you don't expect anything like this around here.

“Condolences to the family, they haven't lived here long but they kept themselves to themselves and seemed like a normal family like any other."

Another neighbour added: "I was watching the football and went to put the bins out when I saw ambulances and police cars.

"I knew immediately it was serious. The police asked us to go back inside and cordoned off the road. I don't know what's happened and don't want to speculate but it's really distressing.

"Like everyone else you read about things like this in the paper but never think it will happen in your neighbourhood.

“I'm on nodding terms with the family but they just moved here and keep themselves to themselves."

One woman living across from the home where the tragedy unfolded said that she hoped the incident would not inspire fear in the community.

She added: “The family has been here around a year and I believe they’re pharmacists so a lot of local people will know them.

“There was nothing outside of the house to show that anything was happening there, there was no noise outside and you couldn’t tell anything had happened until the emergency services arrived.

“I think this is a very sad incident and we don’t have anything like this happening around here, it’s a really good area and I think this was an isolated incident.

“I don’t want this area and its people to feel fear as I don’t think it’s the right response to this, we have to stay positive as a community and be caring for the family affected.”

The Avenue is a busy route used by buses, motorists and pedestrians. Cleveland Police detectives are now appealing to anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area around The Avenue, particularly between the junctions with The Crescent and Lancaster Road, yesterday evening to contact them.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101, quoting event number 85888. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or crimestoppers-uk.org