Mee Kuen Chong, 67, known to friends as Deborah, was found in an area of woodland near to Bennett Road in Salcombe, South Devon on Monday, 27 June.
Mee had been reported missing from her home in London on Friday, 11 June. Her death was initially treated as unexplained with enquiries led by Devon and Cornwall Police.
A post-mortem examination took place at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital on Monday, 28 June. A cause of death has not yet been ascertained.
On Tuesday, 6 July, further enquiries undertaken by Devon and Cornwall Police in South Devon and the London area led to a murder investigation being launched by the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.
On the evening of Tuesday, 6 July a 36-year-old woman was arrested at a residential address in Kilburn on suspicion of murder. She remains in custody at a north London police station.
A crime scene remains in place at the address and in South Devon. Police searches are likely to continue over the coming days.
Mee was originally from Malaysia but has been living in Wembley for over 30 years. Her family has been updated about this development and are being supported by specially trained officers.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who is leading the murder investigation, said: “The discovery of Mee’s body is a tragic development and my thoughts are with her family and friends.
“At this stage, we are working on establishing the full circumstances surrounding Mee’s death and in particular her movements. I would ask anyone who saw her between Thursday, 10 June and Sunday, 27 June either in London or Devon, who has not yet spoken to police, to please come forward.
“It is absolutely vital that anyone who may have information about Mee’s movements over this period share what they know to help us fully understand what happened to her.”
As is standard procedure, the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards were informed following the discovery of Mee’s body. A referral has also been made to the IOPC.
An incident room has been set up. Anyone with information should call 0208 358 0300. Alternatively, information can be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.