MILLIONS tuned in last night to watch BBC Crimewatch appeal for information following the murder of Valerie Graves in Bosham.
Sussex Police is hunting for the killer of the 55-year-old, from Bracklesham Bay, who was found battered to death on December 30, while house-sitting with family in Smugglers Lane, Bosham.
A 22-year-old man was arrested last week but later bailed and police enquiries are continuing.
Detective superintendent Nick May from Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team told the BBC programme that they were trying to establish who knew the home’s owners were away.
“She was a much loved mother and grandmother. Her family are absolutely devastated and we are very much hoping tonight that people can call in.”
He described it as a ‘truly shocking case’, adding that Chichester Police were conducting ‘extensive searches’ in and around the Bosham area when they found a claw hammer, which they ‘strongly believe’ to have been the murder weapon.
Police have released pictures of the red and black tool, which is about 30cm in length and is embossed with the words Forge Steel.
DSI May asked anyone who might have had a similar hammer stolen in the past, or lost one, to contact police.
The Crimewatch episode featured a section of the video above, which was an interview Miss Graves gave as part of a university event.
In 2007, she completed a degree with the School of Textile and Design, based in Galashiels, Scotland.
She graduated from the Heriot-Watt University campus with a BA Hons, after attending as a mature student.
Miss Graves moved to West Sussex to look after her mother.
The above video was filmed as part of a university event.
Anyone with information should ring 101 quoting Operation Ensign or email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.