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<img class="caas-img has-preview" alt="Photograph: Laura Parnaby/PA” src=”” data-src=””>

Photograph: Laura Parnaby/PA

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after an 80-year-old woman died in a bath at a house in east London.

The Metropolitan police said officers were called to Rushden Gardens in Ilford at 10.51am on Friday. The victim, whose identity has not been disclosed, was found in the bath unconscious and not breathing.

Officers and paramedics tried for an hour to save the woman, but she was pronounced dead at 11.48am. The suspect, 54, was arrested at the scene and remains in police custody. Police added that he and the victim were known to each other.

A postmortem is due to take place and the woman’s family have been informed. The Met’s specialist crime team is investigating.

On Saturday afternoon a cordon surrounded the front garden as the police investigation continued.

Neighbours said the woman had lived in the house for about 35 years. One local person said she found the news “terrible” and “very upsetting”. She said she saw seven police vehicles pull up on the street on Friday morning and a man was seen being arrested.

The woman, who asked to be named only as Debra, said: “It’s a terrible death for an old lady, in her own home, it’s very upsetting. I knew her from years ago, but I presumed she had moved out because I hadn’t seen her in five years.”

Other neighbours on the street, who did not wish to be named, said they were “shocked” by the news.