The body of Linda Sheard, 63, was discovered by members of her family in her home near Brixington, Exmouth last night.
Her son Andrew Cane, who had recently moved in with her, is being sought by police in connection with her death.
A blue Honda Civic, believed to have been used by Cane, was found abandoned next to the A4 near Bristol today. It had been abandoned next to the A4, Devon and Cornwall Police said.
A police spokesman said Cane could be ‘anywhere in the country’.
Divorcee Linda was found dead in her £250,000 property on Wednesday evening just after 7pm.
It is understood that her son moved into her home some months ago and worked as a roofer at the same Exmouth firm where Mrs Sheard had worked for a number of years.
A neighbour in the small cul-de-sac where Mrs Sheard has lived for the past six years described Cane as a ‘quiet bloke who never seemed much trouble’.
The neighbour also said he knew Andrew’s dad, Michael Cane ‘an ex-copper’.
Mrs Sheard had previously lived in Blandford Forum, Dorset, before moving to Exeter and bought her home in Exmouth in 2006.
It is believed her former husband moved to West Yorkshire when the couple split up more than six years ago.
A post mortem examination is to be carried out to find the exact cause of death.
Anyone with information or who may have spotted Andrew Cane is asked to contact police.