Detectives have launched a murder investigation following the disappearance of 32-year-old Lorraine Cox in Exeter.
Lorraine was last seen in the city centre in the early hours of Tuesday, September 1.
She was reported missing on Thursday, September 3, and had been the subject of a police appeal to the public for help to find her.
The force said this morning (Thursday, September 10) there had been a ‘significant development’ in the case and a murder investigation has been launched.
Mary Arches Street remains cordoned-off as part of the investigation.
Devon and Cornwall Police said that four local men have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in custody.
Detective Chief Inspector Lee Nattrass, from the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Lorraine Cox had initially been treated as a missing person following concerns for her welfare from her friends and relatives.
“However, following a significant development in the case, we are now treating this as a murder investigation.”
Police said four men, aged 22, 30, 33, and 71, all who live locally, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody.
DCI Nattrass said: “Extensive searches by specialist officers are currently taking place in and around Mary Arches Street in Exeter city centre.
“A cordon remains in place and the public are likely to see police activity ongoing in the area for the next few days.
“We would like to hear from anyone who believes they had seen or heard from Lorraine since 1 September as a matter of urgency.
“If you have any information that can assist us with our investigation, please contact the police on 999 quoting log 285 for 9 September.
“The family of Ms Cox have been informed of this development and are being supported by trained liaison officers at this difficult time. They ask for their privacy to be respected.”
Police had earlier this week issued a missing person appeal for help to find Lorraine.
Officers described as a white female, 5ft 5in tall, of average build with dark brown hair in a pony tail.
It is believed she was wearing a vest top, checked shirt and possibly jeans or shorts.
Information can also be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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