News, Culture & Society

Police hunt local mechanic after church-going lady is found killed in ancient almshouse 

Church-going lady, 71, who tended local churchyard flowers is found killed in ancient almshouse as police arrest man, 64

  • The 71-year-old, Chrissy Ford, was found dead in Flamstead, Hertfordshire  
  • Chrissy’s body was discovered in an ancient almshouse in the sleepy village
  • Officers have today arrested a 64-year-old man in connection with her death 

A 64-year-old man has been arrested after police found the body of an elderly lady in an almshouse.

Officers launched a manhunt after discovering Chrissy Ford shortly before 8pm on Saturday evening in Flamstead, Hertfordshire.

Concerned family members contacted officers when they realised the 71-year-old was missing. This afternoon, police arrested a man in connection with the death. 

Pictured: Police set up an incident tent next to the almshouse in Flamstead, Hertfordshire, where the 71-year-old died 

Ms Ford had moved into one of a block’s four almshouses around 10 years ago to be closer to her family. 

Her friend, Carole Morris, said: ‘She was a lovely social person and loved walking around the village with her two grandchildren and her son’s dog Archie. She wouldn’t have harmed a fly.

Pictured: The almshouse at which Ms Ford's body was found on Saturday in Flamstead, Hertfordshire

Pictured: The almshouse at which Ms Ford’s body was found on Saturday in Flamstead, Hertfordshire 

‘She was attractive and always had her makeup on and looked smart and immaculate. She was just smiley and kind.’ 

Over the years, she quickly endeared herself to the village and regularly tended the gardens of the local church – St Leonards – just 100 yards from her home.

Vicar Tom Sander said: ‘She was a committed member of the church family and regularly looked after the roses in the churchyard. 

‘She would attend church and she would help with the flowers inside the church, but she was so keen on looking after the peach coloured roses in the church gardens.

This is the pictured that police shared as sought to speak to the Toyota's driver following the pensioner's death

This is the pictured that police shared as sought to speak to the Toyota’s driver following the pensioner’s death 

‘She was a very keen gardener and a very nice person. When you met her, you came away afterwards feeling better for having seen and spoken to her – she was that sort of person. 

‘I suppose she was in her early 70s and she was a single and retired lady, who had moved to the village to be nearer her family.’ 

The almshouse where she lived was built in the 1600s and is run by a trust. Almshouses are given to people who have a local connection to the village and who may have fallen on hard times.

Reverend Sander said: ‘She had a really loving family around her and friends.. She was close to many people in the village. She didn’t drive and so you would see her walking on foot everywhere, but family was very important to her.

Police found Ms Ford's body at this almshouse in Hertfordshire and have now arrested a 64-year-old man

Police found Ms Ford’s body at this almshouse in Hertfordshire and have now arrested a 64-year-old man 

‘The tragedy is that she was so happy here having moved to Flamstead, it was like she had found a new lease of life by getting involved in village life.’

The lady regularly called by the local shop in the village for her morning paper and groceries.

A villager said: ‘You would often see her with her grandchildren who she had collected after school and they would stop by the shop for an ice-cream on their way home.’

After Chrissy’s body had been found on Saturday evening, a police helicopter flew over the village and surrounding fields and lanes.

One resident said: ‘This is such a peaceful, rural spot. It’s the last place you would think something like this would happen. To say it’s like something out of Midsomer Murders is not an exaggeration.’  

Another villager said: ‘We are all in shock because it feels very personal when you live in such a small community as this.’