A woman who told police she had killed a man and buried him in a garden is being questioned by murder detectives following the discovery of human remains.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the 63-year-old woman sparked an investigation at a house on Matlock Road in Reddish, near Stockport, after walking into a police station on Sunday and telling officers she had killed a man “a number of years ago”.
Investigators searching the property on Tuesday discovered human remains, which are believed to be those of a man.
Door-to-door inquiries have been conducted on the street, with residents being asked if they know a man called Kenneth Coombes, police said.
The questionnaire suggests Coombes was in his late 80s in 2005.
A man by the same name who was recorded as living on the street would have been 99 years old today.
The man was registered as living with his daughter, a 63-year-old called Barbara Coombes. Student Islay Coombes, 29, believed to be her daughter, is also listed as residing at the address.
Police have not confirmed the identity of the woman held in custody or identified the murder victim.
The woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder and police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.
Neighbours described Barbara Coombes as a quiet woman, only ever seen out walking her small dog when she would say no more than “hello” to passers-by.
Another local described the family as “odd”.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said he first noticed a white forensic tent go up in the garden on Sunday.
He said: “You never expect anything like this on your doorstep.
“All the neighbours are shocked and everyone is talking about it, but no-one seems to know much about that family.”
His daughter said: “My older sister went to school with their daughter, Islay, and was in her year.
“No-one knows what she does, she’s not on Facebook but has a Linkedin account and is registered on a couch surfing website in Manchester.
“I’ve seen her around here but don’t know her.”
Islay Coombes, who went to local Reddish Vale High School, has a Linkedin profile that says she studied at Manchester Metropolitan University from 2013-2015.
Neighbour Stella Ashton said: “You can see the back garden from the back of our house.
“We could see two forensic tents, it was all very, very bright, lit up last night, very, very bright and the light was reflecting off the white of the tents.”
“It’s all covered but you could see activity going on.”
Ashton added: “Best thoughts go to the woman whatever mental state she was in.
“I didn’t know there was going to be a body, didn’t know there had been a murder.
“We just saw the forensic teams and assumed there had been a break-in.
“Police came yesterday. Just asked if I had heard anything, any whispers.
“I didn’t hear anything other than she lived with her parents, many years ago her mum died and shortly afterwards her dad wasn’t seen again.
“This morning I had to come out with my two children because they get the private school bus at the end of this road and had to walk them through this area here.
“It was a bit daunting this morning when it was dark and police would only escort them one by one through, they wouldn’t let the children walk through on their own.
“We aspired to live here for years, it’s so, so nice, so quiet.”
Detective Inspector Dan Clegg, of GMP’s major incident team, said following a search of the garden, officers discovered remains which were later confirmed to be human by a forensic pathologist.
“The investigation is still in its early stages and many questions still need answers,” he added.
“We will continue our work at the scene through the night and hope in the coming days we can piece together the exact circumstances surrounding the man’s death.
“I would like to thank the community for their support as we continue to carry out our enquiries and we would like to reassure them that this is being treated incredibly seriously and we will do all that we can to find out what happened.”
The man is yet to be formally identified and a Home Office post-mortem is due to take place in the next 24 hours.
GMP said that the man’s family, who are being supported by specially trained officers, have been informed.