Valerie Graves murder: DNA sample found of hammer killer
A partial DNA profile has been obtained of the man suspected of murdering an artist by bludgeoning her with a hammer.
Valerie Graves, 55, was found dead in a property in Bosham in West Sussex while she was house-sitting over Christmas.
The DNA sample is not complete enough for a search to be carried out on the DNA database but could be used to eliminate suspects, Sussex Police said.
Det Supt Nick May said: "This is a significant breakthrough."
He added: "Anyone who provides us with a DNA sample could now be eliminated from the investigation."
The sample indicates the suspect was male, police said.
In September a reward of up to £20,000 was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who murdered Ms Graves.
Police believe she was attacked in bed by an intruder wielding a hammer.
She was killed while staying at a house in Smuggler's Lane with her mother, sister and sister's partner while the owners were on holiday.
Ms Graves went to bed at 22:00 GMT on 29 December and was found dead in a bedroom the next morning.
The artist's family were asleep at the time she was attacked, Sussex Police said.
A post-mortem examination found she suffered head and facial injuries.
The hammer believed to have been used in the attack was found in Hoe Lane, a few hundred metres from the house.
The charity Crimestoppers and Sussex Police are each offering a £10,000 reward to find her killer.