Sussex

Valerie Graves: Romania man arrested over Bosham murder

Valerie Graves Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Nearly 3,000 people were DNA tested in the hunt for Valerie Graves' killer

A man has been arrested in Romania over the murder of a grandmother who was bludgeoned to death in bed as she house-sat for friends.

Valerie Graves, 55, was found dead at a property in Smugglers Lane, Bosham, on 30 December 2013.

Romanian national Cristian Sabou, 28, was arrested at his home in Dej on Wednesday on a European Arrest Warrant.

His extradition is now being sought through the Romanian courts, Sussex Police said.

Mr Sabou is due to appear appear court in Cluj-Napoca to face extradition proceedings at a time and date yet to be set, the force said.

Forensic analysis of DNA from the scene established the suspect was male.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Valerie Graves was house-sitting for friends over Christmas

As part of its investigation, Sussex Police carried out the biggest voluntary mass DNA screening in its history, asking all men aged over 17 who lived, worked or visited Bosham to provide a DNA sample.

No match was found from the nearly 3,000 people who came forward.

Mother-of-two Ms Graves was last seen alive at about 22:00 GMT on 29 December.

She had been staying at the property while the owners were away over the Christmas period.

A post-mortem examination found she had sustained severe head injuries after being hit with a claw hammer which was found in Hoe Lane, 600 metres from the house.

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