Woman Charged With Murder After Body Found Buried in Backyard: Police

A woman in the U.K. has been charged with murder after a body was found buried in a backyard, according to police.

Northamptonshire Police said officers arrested Fiona Beal, 48, at a hotel in Cumbria in the north of England early on March 16 and carried out a search of a property in the town of Northampton, more than 200 miles south.

In a Sunday Facebook post, a police spokesperson said officers were called to a home in Northampton on Wednesday, where they undertook a search of the whole property.

It continued: "Forensic officers and specialist search teams, including a cadaver dog, were deployed and following an extensive search a body was discovered buried in the rear garden of the property yesterday afternoon (Saturday, March 19)."

Police added the remains were expected to be taken to a Home Office pathologist in Leicester for examination.

Detective Chief Inspector Adam Pendlebury, from the Major Crime team of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: "Regrettably I can confirm that a body has been found in the rear garden of the address.

"We believe it to be that of a missing 42-year-old male, but formal identification has yet to take place.

"Police officers have been conducting house-to-house inquiries in the area over the past couple of days. This remains a complex and challenging investigation and we are appealing for anyone with any information to contact Northampton Police on 101, quoting incident number 26 of March 16, 2022."

Beal appeared at Northampton Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Newsweek has contacted Northamptonshire Police for comment.

There were 594 homicide victims in England and Wales in the year ending March 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This was 79 fewer than the previous year, which meant the overall homicide total was the lowest since March 2016, when 540 people were registered as homicide victims.

The ONS said that tight COVID-19 restrictions, where only limited social contact was permitted, "may have led to a reduction in homicide" in 2020.

An ONS spokesperson said: "Although there was a substantial fall in the number of victims who were killed in public places compared with last year (a 27 percent decrease), there was a five percent increase in victims who were killed in a residential setting."

The ONS added that there were 114 domestic homicides in the year ending March 2021, which was a similar number to the average over the previous five years.

For those cases where a suspect had been charged some 92 percent (380) of the suspects were men.

Stock image of British police
Stock image of British police. A woman in the U.K. has been charged with murder after a body was found buried in a backyard in Northampton, according to police. BrianAJackson/Getty