Man, 40, arrested for murder as police continue to search for missing mother-of-two

Detectives searching for a missing mother-of-two have arrested a man on suspicion of murder. 

Alexandra Morgan, was last seen at a petrol station near Cranbrook at 7.20am on Sunday 14 November 2021, and has not been in contact with her family since.

Her disappearance is being treated as suspicious, and a 40-year-old man from St Leonards in East Sussex has been arrested on suspicion of murder. 

Kent Police officers, with support from Sussex Police, are carrying out searches in three locations in the Hastings and St Leonards area, as part of their work to locate Ms Morgan.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "It is completely out of character for Alexandra not to contact her family and we are now treating this case as a potential murder.

"While we continue our investigation, I would urge anyone who may have seen Alexandra or her white Mini Cooper with a black roof to contact us.

"If you think you may have seen Alexandra or something suspicious but are not sure, please do not hesitate to call and let us know."

On Wednesday evening they revealed that officers were searching an area around the village of Westfield on the outskirts of Hastings.

The searches include locations close to Rock Lane and are being supported by officers from Sussex Police.

They were initially looking into whether she used the vehicle to travel to York but have since tracked the car between her home and Hastings on the Sunday she was last seen and the following Monday.

The Mini, number plate MF55 YHM, is said to be "key to establishing her whereabouts"

The Mini, number plate MF55 YHM, is said to be "key to establishing her whereabouts".

A friend who was the last person to see the missing mother-of-two before she vanished spoke of her concerns. Petrol station manager Rose McAuley, 32, served the 34-year-old when she topped her Mini Cooper up with £10 of fuel and bought a coffee and snack.

The mother-of-two also laughed with her friend of 17 years, whom she first met at a local youth club, after tripping over a wet floor warning sign.

Ms Morgan, known as Alex by friends, has not been seen for 10 days since making the purchases at 7.20am. Her white Mini Cooper was spotted making journeys between her home in Sissinghurst, Kent and towards the Hastings area of East Sussex on the Sunday she was last seen and the following day, Monday November 15.

Ms McAuley, who also lives in the village near the Sussex border and has worked at the garage for nine years, said: "I don’t think anybody knows what’s happened to her or where she’s gone. For her car not to be seen at all since then is a complete mystery. 

"A friend and I went around Hastings looking for it but didn’t find anything.

"Alex never gets embarrassed so I don’t think it’s a case of her being afraid to come home. I just hope nothing bad has happened to her. I just hope she’s okay and turns up. It’s really worrying."

Ms Morgan, who Ms McAuley says used to run a dog grooming business, said she was planning to visit friends in Yorkshire for a week but complained her black roofed Mini needed repairing.

Ms McAuley said of their interaction: "Alex often comes in without any make up on and in comfy clothes as this is her local shop, as you would.

"But she was really dolled up with a full face of make up, her hair done and wearing nice clothes when she came in that Sunday looking very well presented.

"She was more done up than I’ve ever seen her before. And she came in very early in the morning which was unlike her. She put £10 of fuel in and bought a coffee and a snack.

"Alex seemed in a good mood and was smiling. She was just your usual Alex – tripping over the wet floor sign and laughing about it."

Police have taken CCTV from the garage and interviewed Ms McAuley for a description of what Ms Morgan was wearing and how she behaved when she was last seen.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are leading the investigation.

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