A murder hunt has been launched following the death of a pensioner in her late-80s.

Family members discovered the body in her home in Atlantic Close, Ocean Village, Southampton on Saturday night, prompting an investigation by around 60 officers.

Police have cordoned off a wide area around the woman's home, which looks onto a marina, to enable specialist officers to search for evidence which may be linked to her death.

A post-mortem examination will be conducted by a Home Office pathologist later to establish the exact cause of death.

Immediate family are aware of the death but other close relatives have still to be notified and formal identification procedures are still to be completed, a Hampshire Police spokesman said.

Detective Superintendent Rachel Farrell, who is leading the investigation, said: "I would like to reassure residents and those who visit this area that this is an extremely rare incident which is expected to have a huge impact on the local community.

"There is a significant police presence in the area and this is likely to remain over the coming days. This may cause some disruption to local residents and we therefore ask for their support and understanding.

"Due to the waterfront location of the address, we would extend our appeal to the transient boating and sailing community who may have attended the Cowes Week celebrations on Friday or sailed into or out of Ocean Village during the weekend as they may have seen something, no matter how insignificant it might appear to be, that will assist us.

"We have a dedicated team of more than 60 police officers involved in the investigation who are conducting searches, completing house-to-house enquiries and following up other lines of inquiry."

Police later said a 37-year-old local man has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Detective Chief Inspector Pete McGowan said the investigation is still in its early stages and that the arrest is part of only one of several lines of inquiry.