A 22-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Valerie Graves and was due back on bail today has been released without charge.
The man was arrested on Tuesday, January 14th after Miss Graves was found dead in a house in Smugglers Lane, Bosham, on Monday 30 December.
She and other members of her family had been house sitting while the owners were away over Christmas.
Detectives, supported by neighbourhood policing officers, are knocking on the doors of more than 700 homes in the area in their effort to gather any information that can help them.
The Major Crime Team is also being advised by the National Crime Agency in order to provide further offender profiling. They are keeping an open mind as to the motive for Valerie's violent death.
Some local residents are obviously concerned and we want to do all we can to reassure them. I have ensured that extra patrols continue in the area and the neighbourhood policing team is available in Bosham to speak to residents about their concerns. In addition to the extra patrols there will be daily opportunities to speak to a local officer from 11am to 12 noon outside the Bosham Craft Centre in Bosham Lane and from 7-8pm outside the Co-op store in Delling Lane."
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.
Detective Superintendent Nick May from Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said: "We need to know the origins of this hammer.
"Do you recognise it? We need people to check if they have lost such a hammer or had one stolen in the period leading up to the murder.
"We would also ask police officers, prison staff, probation officers and professionals who work in mental health, if they have dealt with anyone who has talked about causing someone harm with a hammer, to let us know.
"If so we would like to hear from you. We are continuing to appeal for any information from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area from late afternoon on Sunday 29 December to 10am on Monday 30 December to come forward."
Police have released these photos of a hammer which they believe is the weapon used to kill Valerie Graves in Bosham.
It was found in Bosham by the search team working on the murder inquiry.
Miss Graves was discovered dead in a ground-floor bedroom on the morning of Monday 30 December at the house in Smugglers Lane she was looking after with three other members of her family, while the owners were away.
She died from significant head and facial injuries.