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Victim's relatives urge villagers to 'please help' with DNA samples

Nigel Acres, the partner of Valerie Graves' sister, said: "We would ask anyone who is eligible to attend one of the screening sessions and give their DNA. "This is a difficult case and we know the police are doing all they can to solve it. "The DNA screening is an important part of the investigation. Please help."

Valerie Graves. Credit: Sussex Police

The police are doing all they can to solve this. I would encourage all men in the area to come forward to give their DNA. I have given mine and it is so easy. You just open your mouth for a few seconds for the swab and roll your thumb across a pad for your thumbprint to be taken.

– Myles Cullen, Chichester District Councillor for Bosham

The DNA screening sessions are taking place at the Millstream Hotel today and tomorrow, and from Monday 2nd February to Saturday 7th February and from Tuesday 10th February to Sunday 15th February. All sessions are from 10am to 8pm.

Artist Valerie Graves, 55, was found dead in a ground floor bedroom of a house she was looking after for friends on 30th December 201

Extensive murder investigation yields no suspects

Today's DNA screening is a last resort for Sussex Police who have interviewed more than 9,500 people as part of the extensive inquiry into the murder of Valerie Graves.

A police notice is seen in the street where the murder happened in December 2013 Credit: PA

A BBC Crimewatch appeal and a £20,000 reward have failed to yield any suspects or charges.

On the first-year anniversary of the murder last month, officers handed out leaflets and put up posters about the DNA screening.

Graves' death shocked the small community of Bosham, which featured in an episode of the ITV crime drama Midsomer Murders.

Villagers invited to give DNA samples in unsolved murder

Mass voluntary DNA screening is set to begin by police investigating the unsolved murder of a grandmother in the West Sussex village of Bosham.

Valerie Graves Credit: Sussex Police

Men who live, work or visit the area are being invited to eliminate themselves from suspicion by providing a mouth swab and thumbprint.

Artist Valerie Graves, 55, was found dead in a ground floor bedroom of a house she was looking after for friends on 30th December 2013.

The DNA screening will take place at the Millstream Hotel in the village from today, with posters alerting locals about the dates the screening will take place.


Flagship free school due to shut

Discovery New School in Crawley, West Sussex, is due to close its doors today amid concerns about the standard of education it offered - it is the first time this kind of action has been taken.

Discovery New School in Crawley, West Sussex, is due to close its doors today. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The school has around 70 pupils who will all have to find new schools.

Explaining the decision when the closure was announced, schools minister Lord Nash said that "none of the school's teachers were delivering good lessons and all were still consistently inadequate or required improvement".

Man freed on bail over house-sitter murder

A man arrested on suspicion of murdering a grandmother as she house-sat for friends in a small village has been released on bail, police said.

Valerie Graves was found dead at a house in West Sussex. Credit: Sussex Police

The 22-year-old man, who was detained on Tuesday in connection with the killing of Valerie Graves, has been released on conditional bail until February 17, Sussex Police said.

Ms Graves, 55, was murdered in a bedroom at a waterside property in Bosham, West Sussex, on December 30 as she house-sat with her mother, sister and her sister's partner while the owners holidayed abroad over Christmas.

A post-mortem examination found she suffered significant head and facial injuries.

Man held over Valerie Graves murder

A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of Valerie Graves, the 55-year-old woman found dead in a bedroom in a home in Bosham, near Chichester, West Sussex on December 30.

55-year-old Valerie Graves was found dead in a bed room at the waterside property in Bosham, near Chichester, West Sussex on December 30. Credit: Police handout.

The victim and her family were looking after the house while the owners were away over Christmas. Her son Tim Wood previously paid tribute to his mother and pleaded for information about the killing.

"My mum was much loved and will be sorely missed by the whole family. She was a free spirit who enjoyed her life and was a talented artist.

"This has been devastating for the family and has come as a complete shock."

Police arrest man in connection with Bosham murder

Sussex Police say they have arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of the murder of Valerie Graves in December.

The 55-year-old's body was found in a house in Bosham, West Sussex where she and her family were house-sitting over Christmas.

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