Forensic investigators examine the London property where
the woman was reportedly beheaded. (Photo by Oli
An elderly woman has been found beheaded at a house in a
north London suburb, British media are reporting, in an
incident that police say does not appear to be terrorist
Officers said they were called to the house in Edmonton
following reports of a man armed with a knife, and found the
woman's body in the garden. She was named as 82-year-old
Palmira Silva, who detectives believe is of Italian descent.
"Whilst it is too early to speculate on what the motive
behind this attack was I am confident, based on the
information currently available to me, that it is not
terrorist related," said Detective Chief Inspector John
Sandlin, who is leading the investigation.
He declined to confirm reports that the woman had been
beheaded, or say what weapon was used in the attack.
Police said a man, 25, had been arrested on suspicion of
murder by armed officers at the scene after they used a stun
gun. One officer suffered a suspected broken wrist during the
Earlier, there was an attempt to attack two other people at a
house on the same street but they escaped unharmed.
The reported nature of the killing had prompted speculation
that the murder might be a terrorism incident after last
year's gruesome murder of a British soldier in London, and
the recent release of videos by Islamic State jihadists
showing two US journalists being beheaded apparently by a
"This is was a highly visible attack in broad daylight on a
residential street," said Sandlin in a statement. "I can
understand why this may cause people concern, however we are
confident that we are not looking for anyone else at this