London - A young woman has been found dead just yards from her grandmother’s home following a night out with friends.
The body of Sara Hopkins, 25, was discovered in a quiet lane next to a fire station over the weekend.
A man aged 44 has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remained in custody on Sunday night.
Miss Hopkins had previously worked for four years as a barmaid at the Plough Inn in Upton-upon-Severn in Worcestershire’s Malvern Hills and was well known in the picturesque town.
Having studied accounting at the Heart of Worcestershire College, she had recently started a new job for a door supplier.
On Friday night she had posted messages on social media thanking friends for taking her out and "cheering her up" after a bad week.
She said she was at The Drum and Monkey, another pub in the town, adding: "I have the best friends."
But police were called to an area next to Upton fire station at around 8am on Saturday where they said a 25-year-old woman had been found "unresponsive".
Detectives said extra officers were drafted in to help with enquiries and reassure the public.
Floral tributes were left at the scene on Sunday, where forensic investigators continued their searches.
The lane is just 200 yards from the home of Miss Hopkins’ grandmother, Doris Merchant, who was too upset to comment last night.
Miss Hopkins, an animal lover who owned a dog, had a twin brother, Dan.
Her father, David, a motor mechanic, is believed to have separated from her mother, Tracy. Residents of Upton, which has a population of around 3 000, told of their shock last night as friends described how Miss Hopkins ‘always had a smile on her face’.
Writing on Facebook, friend Holly Barrett posted a picture of her and Sara at school. "Today it’s really sunk in that you’re not here any more and I can’t get over the fact that you’re gone," she said. "You were my best friend during high school and carried on making me laugh and smile into our twenties. You were always so positive, kind and a great laugh to be around."
"You had my back when not many others did and I’ll always be grateful for the time that we spent together."
Rob Brown, 27, a steel worker, said: "No one can believe it. The whole community is shocked."
"She will be missed by everyone in the area.
"She was very well-known and not one person would have a bad word to say about her. She was known as the girl who always had a smile on her face."
Detective Inspector Jim Bayliss, from West Mercia Police, said: "Our enquiries are very much in their early stages and at this stage the woman’s death is being treated as suspicious. A man has been arrested and is currently in police custody."
"Extra officers will be in the area, both to carry out enquiries and to offer reassurance."
Anyone with information can ring the police or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.