An Army veteran has spoken of how he and other strangers battled to try and save a mum murdered in a brutal attack.
Cleveland Police have named the woman who was killed in Hartlepool on Friday evening as mum-of-three Kelly Franklin, 29.
Gary Reid and others rushed to the aid of the women when they heard cries for help after the attack in Oxford Road, Hartlepool, at around 9pm on Friday.
Detectives from Cleveland Police have arrested a 30-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman on suspicion of murder after the woman suffered “significant injuries” in what they say was a “targeted attack.”
Police have appealed for anyone with information to come forward, including drivers who have dash-cam footage in the area at the time of the attack.
Gary, 29, who lives in the Rift House area, had just dropped off sons Jack, five, and Lewis, one, at a relative’s house after visiting the Headland fairground when he heard cries for help.
My thoughts are with her parents and 1 just want them to know that their little girl was not alone.Gary Reid
A young man and a young woman also tried to help Kelly while emergency services were on their way.
The former sapper, who served with Army’s Royal Engineers 25 and 39 Engineers, said: “I was driving up the road and I just heard people shouting ‘help’ and turned the car around and parked up.
“I knew it was severe straight away and it was a shock, but I served six-and-a-half years in the Army and have a background where I’ve seen scenarios like this before.
“Other people around were also shocked and they were asking if they knew her name and I was shouting at her, trying to get a response.”
Gary, who is now an engineer and works for Spie at Seal Sands and lives with partner Nicola Turner, also 29, added: “The three of us tried our hardest and the people around us were pushing others away and were in just as much shock as us.
“The lad who stopped to help and the woman 100% deserve the credit for what they did.
“My thoughts are with her parents and I just want them to know that their little girl was not alone.”
Floral tributes have been laid near the scene, with one saying: “Kelly, we haven’t got answers, we don’t know why, but what we do know you will be sadly missed by everyone around you, especially your three beautiful children.
“RIP in the hands of God and we promise you that we will make sure your three angels will never got forget you.”
Chief Superintendent Alastair Simpson, of Cleveland Police, said: “My thoughts and sympathies are with the family of the woman who was tragically killed.
“Specially trained officers are supporting the family at this extremely difficult time.
“Residents in the local area will naturally be shocked by what has happened and I would like to reassure them that we have a dedicated team who are working tirelessly on this case and all the necessary specialist resources are being made available to them.
“Our enquiries so far have led detectives to believe that this was a targeted attack.
“There is a visible police presence in and around the area of the murder.
“Anyone in the local community who has concerns can approach any of these officers and speak to them about this incident.”
A force spokesman added: “Detectives would like to again appeal for any witnesses to the incident to get in touch with them. Police believe that Oxford Road would have been busy with vehicles travelling along Oxford Road on Friday evening, and that it is a route often used by buses and taxis.
“Police believe that Oxford Road would have been busy with vehicles travelling along Oxford Road on Friday evening, and that it is a route often used by buses and taxis.
“Any drivers who were in the area of Oxford Road near to Chaucer Avenue at around 9pm on Friday evening, particularly anyone who may have dash cam footage, are asked to call 101.”
People can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.