Woman, 36, is charged with murder of pensioner, 67, whose decapitated body was found in Devon woods

A woman has been charged with the murder of a pensioner whose decapitated body was discovered in woodland two weeks after she disappeared from her home in London.

Mee Kuen Chong, 67, known to friends as Deborah, was found near Bennett Road in Salcombe, Devon, at around 5pm on June 27.

Police said that 36-year-old Jemma Mitchell from Brondesbury Park in Brent, north-west London, has been charged with her murder.

She was arrested at a residential address in Kilburn on Tuesday evening and will appear in custody at Willesden Magistrates’ Court later today.

The body of Mee Kuen Chong (pictured above), 67, known to friends as Deborah, was found in woodland near Bennett Road in Salcombe, Devon, at around 5pm on June 27

The body of Mee Kuen Chong (pictured above), 67, known to friends as Deborah, was found in woodland near Bennett Road in Salcombe, Devon, at around 5pm on June 27

The body of Mee Kuen Chong (pictured above), 67, known to friends as Deborah, was found in woodland near Bennett Road in Salcombe, Devon, at around 5pm on June 27

Ms Chong had been reported missing from her home in Wembley on June 11 before her decapitated body was found 16 days later

Ms Chong had been reported missing from her home in Wembley on June 11 before her decapitated body was found 16 days later

Ms Chong had been reported missing from her home in Wembley on June 11 before her decapitated body was found 16 days later 

Ms Chong had been reported missing from her home in Wembley on June 11.

Her death was initially treated as unexplained with the investigation led by Devon and Cornwall Police.

On Tuesday, inquiries by the force in south Devon and the London area led to a murder investigation being launched by the Met’s specialist crime command.

Crime scenes remain in place at two residential premises in north-west London and in woodland in south Devon.

Police searches are likely to continue over the coming days, the Met added.

In a statement, the force said: ‘Jemma Mitchell, 36, of Brondesbury Park, Brent, was arrested on Tuesday, 6 July. 

Police pictured at the scene where Ms Chong was found dead in woods near Salcombe. Police said that 36-year-old Jemma Mitchell has been charged with her murder

Police pictured at the scene where Ms Chong was found dead in woods near Salcombe. Police said that 36-year-old Jemma Mitchell has been charged with her murder

Police pictured at the scene where Ms Chong was found dead in woods near Salcombe. Police said that 36-year-old Jemma Mitchell has been charged with her murder

Ms Chong's family has been updated about the new development and is being supported by trained officers. Police searches are likely to continue over the coming days, the Met said

Ms Chong's family has been updated about the new development and is being supported by trained officers. Police searches are likely to continue over the coming days, the Met said

Ms Chong’s family has been updated about the new development and is being supported by trained officers. Police searches are likely to continue over the coming days, the Met said

‘She will appear in custody at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, 10 July.’ 

A post-mortem examination took place at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital last week but a cause of death has not yet been ascertained.

Ms Chong was originally from Malaysia but had been living in Wembley for more than 30 years.

Her family has been updated about the new development and is being supported by trained officers.  

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