POLICE have confirmed they have now opened a murder investigation following the stabbing of Leanne Meecham.

The 26-year-old was critically wounded following the incident at her home on Park Street, Westcliff, on February 13. Ms Meecham has since died in hospital from her injuries.

Police were called at about 9.30am after the 26-year-old woman was stabbed at her home address and taken to the Royal London Hospital.

A 42-year-old man from Southend was sought by police and was located with knife injuries in a black Land Rover Discovery at the junction of Eastern Esplanade and Plas Newydd around an hour later.

This man has now been released from hospital and is currently in police custody. He has been further arrested on suspicion of the woman’s murder.

Police appeals for information from the public have had a very good response.

Senior Investigating Officer Det Chief Insp Mark Hall said: "We are grateful to members of the public who have come forward with sightings of the Land Rover Discovery so far, but I would make a further appeal to anyone who saw the vehicle in the area of Pleasant Road and Ash Walk between 9.30 and 10.30am.”

Anyone who can help is urged to contact the enquiry team at Brentwood’s Major Investigation Team on 101, email scdappeals@essex.pnn.police.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.