Officers investigating the murder of Southampton pensioner Delia Hughes say they are conducting house to house enquiries in Woolston, as they try to trace a man captured by CCTV cameras near Mrs Hughes flat on the day of her death.
A team of more than sixty officers have been viewing hours of footage to track the man's movements from Ocean Village into Woolston. Police say he is "fundamental" to their investigation and they are speaking to residents on Bridge Road, Shamrock Road, Peartree Road and Defender Road.
85-year-old Mrs Hughes was discovered in her flat on August 18th. A post mortem examination has revealed that she died as a result of head injuries.
Officers believe the man is a local resident of Woolston. He is seen on CCTV leaving the area, spending 45 minutes in Atlantic Close near to Mrs Hughes's home and then returning to Woolston. He is described as white, aged between 25-30, slim build and between 5ft 8inchs and 5ft 10inchs.
The family of Delia Hughes have paid tribute to their kind and devoted mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was originally from Blackpool but lived in Southampton for seventeen years.
Police are liaising closely with the family on any developments in the case. They thanked local residents of Ocean Village who have come forward with information but are still keen to speak to any joggers, dog walkers or fishermen who may have been in the area on Saturday August 18th.
Detective Superintendent Tony Harris from Hampshire Police said: “This man has become increasingly significant to our inquiry as we believe he holds vital information that will enable us to move the inquiry forward. He has been seen at several locations within Ocean Village on the day Mrs Hughes’ body was found. "
"It is vital that we trace him as he could well hold the clues we need to identify the killer. For that reason we are conducting house to house enquiries in Woolston as we believe he may live there and we’ll be asking local residents if they can assist us in identifying him.
“With every day that passes, the fact that we have been unable to identify this man is of course becoming more of a concern. We believe he was in the area of Ocean Village at a very critical time and he may have seen or heard something very significant."
“We now know that he has left the area off Bridge Road and returned to that area just over 90 minutes later. It is imperative we track him down and find out what he was doing in Ocean Village on Saturday August 18. He may well hold the key to what exactly happened inside Delia’s flat that morning."