A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a nurse disappeared from Poole Hospital.

Police said on Wednesday afternoon that they had launched a major investigation into the disappearance of 44-year-old nurse Rui Li, who was last seen leaving her workplace at Poole Hospital at around 6pm on Friday.

Investigations are continuing this morning.

Rui was reported missing to police on Tuesday morning and has not yet been located.

Detectives’ initial investigations have led to a 60-year-old man from Bournemouth, who is known to the woman, being arrested on suspicion of murder.

A police spokesman said yesterday that “extensive investigations” were ongoing, including forensics experts examining three addresses at Burnham Drive in Queen's Park and Wolverton Road and St Clement’s Road in Boscombe.

Yesterday a police car and scientific investigation van were present at the scene on Wolverton Road.

Betty Barwick, who lives opposite the property being investigated on Wolverton Road, said police had been at the property all day Tuesday as well as today.

"You do not expect something like this to happen so near to your home," she added.

"It used to be a really close knit community where everybody knew each other, but sadly that's not the case anymore."

Three forensic officers were investigating at the scene at Burnham Drive, where a private security worker was standing guard outside the house being investigated.

A police van was also parked at the end of the road.

Erna Cobb, of Burnham Drive, said: "It is such a quiet and lovely road. It was surprising to see the police here and everybody just wants to know what has happened."

Detectives are appealing for the public’s help to piece together Rui’s movements since Friday evening and to build a picture of her life.

Detective Inspector Marcus Hester, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “We sadly have reason to believe Ms Li may have come to harm and have arrested a man on suspicion of murder. However, at this time we do not know her whereabouts.

“Our investigations are focused on establishing exactly what happened between Friday evening and the time Ms Li was reporting missing to us on Tuesday morning. I would ask anyone who has seen or heard from her since she left work at Poole Hospital to contact us.

“We are building up a picture of her life, so I would also ask anyone who we haven’t spoken to already, who knew her well and may have information that that could assist us to get in touch.”

Speaking further to the Daily Echo, DI Hester added: “It gives us serious cause for concern for her welfare.

“We’re trying to find friends and family who can build picture of her life and give us more intimate detail about her.

“That’s the key for me at the moment.

“We need to find her. There are various things that have happened during the investigation that have given us cause for concern.

“I’m trying to remain optimistic that she will be found alive and well.”

DI Hester said that a family member had reported Rui missing and she had family in the Boscombe area.

The properties that were being searched had links to her.

“They are all obviously linked to Rui Li and we’re searching for any evidence and forensically examining them as well,” he added.

Police have circulated a photograph of Rui Li, who is described as a slim woman of Chinese appearance, roughly 5ft, 5in tall.

She sometimes wears glasses and often wears her shoulder-length black hair in a ponytail.

Debbie Fleming, chief executive of Poole Hospital said: “We are very concerned about Rui Li’s whereabouts and hope she will be found safe and well. We are working with the police to provide any help we can and support them in their investigation.”

Anyone with information should call Dorset Police on 101, quoting Operation Timekeeper.