Date: 30 Jul 2013
Karen Marshall was found dead in her top floor flat.
She was found by a relative and neighbour at 3.40pm on Tuesday 30 July 2013.
The police said that she was a vulnerable lady and that she lived alone. She was a fun park worker.
Her death was initially thought to have been non-suspicious and an autopsy was inconclusive, but it was later found that someone had stolen her Post Office card and used it minutes after her pension had been deposited in it electronically.
The police found out shortly after they were informed of Karen Marshall's death that her stolen Post Office card had been used at an ATM on Dickson Road, in Blackpool and an ATM in Westcliffe Drive, Layton early in the morning of 30 July 2013. However, they initially said that they did not know whether her bank card had been stolen before or after Karen Marshall's death.
On Saturday 3 August 2013, an 18-year-old man, a 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl, all from Blackpool, were arrested on suspicion of her murder. The two teenage girls were later released without charge.
Following further investigation, the 18-year-old man admitted that he had gone through Karen Marshall's handbag as she had lay dead on her couch.
He was later convicted of theft on 9 August 2013 and admitted that he knew that Karen Marshall had been dead when he had stolen the bank card. It was then heard that he had carefully waited until one minute after midnight on 30 July 2013, knowing that money from her pension would be arriving in her account and taken out a total of £400, £200 from each ATM.
The 18-year-old man said that he had been invited to stay at Karen Marshall's flat and that he had gone out and that when he returned, he found Karen Marshall lying on the settee and thought that she was asleep and didn't try to wake her up and that he then went to sleep himself.
He then said that when he woke up, he found that Karen Marshall’s side and hands were blue coloured and then found that she was dead.
He said that he then took Karen Marshall's Post Office card and then later called the emergency services.
He denied having anything to do with Karen Marshall's death. He was not charged with anything relating to Karen Marshall's death but was sentenced to 60 days in prison for theft.
After the 18-year-old's conviction, the police confirmed that the murder investigation into Karen Marshall's death would continue.