Police say woman beaten to death in Colchester wore a “Muslim dress”

Police at the scene of the murder in Colchester. (Photo: EADT24)

A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a female Saudi student who was found with serious injuries on a footpath.

The woman died after being attacked in Colchester and police say her full “Muslim dress” and veil may have been a factor.

The victim is said to be Saudi international student at the University of Essex, Nahid Al Manea, who had only recently come to the UK in pursuit of an education for a brighter future.

She was walking on the Salary Brook Trail at 10.40am yesterday morning when she was violently beaten. 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.”

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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 that day. They have also asked residents to check their gardens and rubbish bins for any discarded weapons or blood stained clothing.

It is thought a knife or bladed weapon was used in the attack. A post-mortem examination is due to take place this afternoon. Officers will be carrying out additional patrols in the area.

Anyone with any information should contact the major investigation team on 01245 282103, Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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