Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Murder probe launched as teenager found dead after 'brutal attack'

Murder probe launched as teenager found dead after 'brutal attack'

Detectives are investigating whether she had been targeted in a sex attack.

A police spokeswoman said: "At around 7.20pm on Friday 16 June 2017 police were called by an 18-year-old woman's concerned family after she failed to return from college".

Ellen's boyfriend Ryan Warren, 18, was among those who went out looking for her, spending hours speaking to drivers at Wigan bus station.

Police said a post-mortem test concluded her death was caused by "multiple wounds to the neck".

"Our investigative team will continue to work at the scene in the area around Orrell Water Park for the next few days".

Greater Manchester Police tonight said a man from the Billinge area of Wigan was being questioned over her death. "R.I.P. Ellen".

Lisa Wasilewski wrote: "Seriously saddened by the loss of the lovely Ellen Higginbottom". The teen's friends pleaded with the public via social media to get in contact with the family if they knew anything about her whereabouts. I will always remember you for your love of horses and your bubbly personality. "Please be safe and take care of each other".

The police have said that her disappearance appeared to be "extremely out of character" and that an investigation is underway.

DS Howard Millington, from Greater Manchester Police's Major Incident Team, described the murder as a "brutal attack" and an "absolute tragedy".

"Whilst we have now made two arrests, our investigation continues as we piece together the puzzle to find out what exactly happened to Ellen on Friday, and give her family the answers they deserve".

"During our preliminary investigations we have come across a report of two young women being followed by two men in the area on Thursday".

Appealing for information, the superintendent said at a news conference: "There are fishermen and youths who congregate in that area, so it's possible someone has seen something that isn't quite right".

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