It's a murder which has shocked a quiet community and puzzled detectives. But today a 10 thousand pound reward was offered to catch the killer of a grandmother battered to death as she stayed at a friend's luxury home.
Valerie Graves was found dead at the waterside property in Bosham near Chichester on December 30th. She was staying there over Christmas with her mother, sister and sister's partner.
Police say a hammer found near the house was used to kill Valerie. Sarah Cooper reports.
Detectives investigating the murder of Valerie Graves are offering a reward of £10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of her killer.
The 56-year-old was found with serious head and facial injuries in Smugglers Lane in Bosham on the 30th December.
She had been staying at the property while the owners were away over Christmas.
Since the murder, more than 200 people have been interviewed and over 100 statements have been taken, but police still feel there are witnesses with more important information that have not come forward.
Detective Superintendent Nick May said, "This was a savage attack, where a significant level of violence was used. We know that a hammer, found nearby in Hoe Lane, was used by the offender and we are seeking the public's help to catch this person before they hurt someone else.
"We particularly appeal to anyone who knows personally, has met professionally, or has a relationship with someone who is violent and who may have used, talked about or threatened violence with a hammer in the past.
"You may have your own concerns or suspicions about this person already, but for your own reasons have not yet come forward.Let me reassure you that we can support you whatever your concerns, but this person must be caught."
Anyone with information should ring 101 or email email@example.com quoting Operation Ensign.
Murdered artist Valerie Graves attended the Galashiels based School of Textile and Design as a mature student.
She graduated from the Heriot-Watt University campus with a BA Hons. in 2007.
Fiona Waldron, Head of the School of Textiles and Design at Heriot-Watt University’s Scottish Borders Campus, said:
“We are very sorry to hear of Valerie’s death, especially in such tragic circumstances, and our thoughts are with her family and friends.
“Valerie came to the School of Textiles and Design as a mature student with a background in weaving. However, following an exchange visit to Finland as part of her course, she developed an interest in felted materials, a strong Finnish tradition, and incorporated that in her successful degree course as well as later, when she set up a studio locally specialising in fashion and ornamental felted textiles.
“She was a very creative person, with a wide range of artistic interests, and she will be much missed.”