A graduate who was found strangled in her Brighton flat was a trans woman, police have confirmed.

Andrea Waddell, 29, a graduate of Durham University, was found dead on Thursday night. She had been strangled and her bedroom set on fire.

Police have said she was a sex worker and have appealed to the sex worker community in Brighton for anyone with information to come forward.

A 42-year-old man was arrested on Saturday night, although witnesses are still being sought.

Waddell was born male but transitioned during her three-year Philosophy course at Durham. She had moved to Brighton around five years ago.

She had suffered a number of health problems throughout her life, including scoliosis, which is severe curvature of the spine, and fibromyalgia, the symptoms of which are insomnia and muscular pain.

A statement from her parents, Sonia and Robin, said they did not know she was involved in sex work but were “amazingly proud” of her.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Upper Lewes Road area or who has any information about the incident is urged to contact police on 0845 60 70 999, quoting Operation Merewood.