Sussex

Valerie Graves Bosham hammer murder website set up

  • 5 August 2014
  • From the section Sussex
Valerie Graves Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Valerie Graves and members of her family had been housesitting in Bosham when she was murdered

A dedicated website has been set up by police investigating the unsolved murder of an artist who was bludgeoned with a hammer in a West Sussex village.

Valerie Graves, 55, was found dead in the bedroom of the property she was housesitting over Christmas.

Her family were asleep in the house in Bosham, near Chichester, at the time.

Detectives hope the website will encourage members of the public with any information to come forward. A £10,000 reward has been offered.

Ms Graves was staying at the house with her mother, sister and her sister's partner while the owners were on holiday.

She went to bed at the property in Smugglers Lane, at 22:00 GMT on 29 December and was found dead in the bedroom by one of her relatives at about 10:00 GMT the next day.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had suffered head and facial injuries.

The hammer used in the attack was found in Hoe Lane, about 800yds (730m) from the murder scene.

Det Supt Nick May said: "We are determined to get justice for Valerie and her family and this case will remain open until we do so.

"This new website should keep the investigation in the public's mind as well as continuing to appeal for information.

"The website offers different ways for the public to contact us."

Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption A hammer was discovered by officers investigating the murder

BBC's Crimewatch showed a reconstruction of the murder of Valerie Graves and an interview with her family in April.

Sussex Police said they received more than 20 calls in response to the programme.

A 22-year-old man arrested in January was freed without charge in March.

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