A murder investigation is under way in Tyrone after the body of a 77-year-old woman was found at a house in Ratheen Avenue in Cookstown earlier today.

A 45-year-old man was arrested at the house on suspicion of murder, and the body of the woman was removed from the scene this evening.

Detective Inspector Claire McGarvey said: "Police were called to the property shortly before 11am, where the body of the 77-year-old woman was discovered inside.

"A 45-year-old male located at the property has been arrested on suspicion of murder."

A priest who knew the woman said the whole community were struggling to cope with the tragic circumstances in which the woman's death happened.

"She was a well known person around this area and a very good neighbour to a lot of people.

"People were good to her," Fr Brian Slater said.

SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster Patsy McGlone and Cookstown councillor Kerri Martin have said there is a deep sense of shock and sadness in the town today following the death the woman who was well known locally.

"There's a terrible sense of shock, sadness and grief in Cookstown today after the death of a well known local woman. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and all those who knew her who will be devastated today.

"The PSNI has now launched a murder investigation and I would appeal to everyone to assist police with any inquiries," said Mr McGlone.

While cllr Kerri Martin said: "This is the worst possible news for the family and friends of this woman and the entire community in Cookstown.

"People are in shock this evening. I know that people across the town will rally round at such a difficult time."

Investigations are ongoing and anyone with relevant information is asked to contact police.

"I am appealing for anyone who believes they may have information which could assist police with their investigation to contact detectives from the Major Investigation Team at Cookstown Police Station," Det Insp McGarvey said.