Calls come in after Crimewatch appeal in murder case

Valerie Graves, 55, who died on December 30 in Bosham
Valerie Graves, 55, who died on December 30 in Bosham

MORE than 20 people got in touch with police after the murder of a middle-aged woman was featured on Crimewatch.

Valerie Graves was killed at a home in Bosham where she had been staying on December 29. She had been bludgeoned with a hammer which was later found thrown in bushes 800 yards from the house.

The BBC programme showed a reconstruction of the events leading up to the death of Mrs Graves and heard from family members who were in the house.

Following the programme, there were more than 20 calls, eight of which will be followed up.

Nigel Acres, the partner of Mrs Graves’ older sister Janet, said that he had been out for the evening and had returned at about 9.20pm. The rest of the guests in the house went to bed at about 10pm and he stayed up, and made sure all doors were locked before he went to bed.

The programme also heard from Mrs Graves’ daughter Jemima Harrison and son Tim Wood. Mrs Graves was staying in a downstairs bedroom and her body was discovered by Janet the next morning.

Det Supt Nick May said: ‘Valerie was found dead on December 30 at an address where she would not usually live and very few people would have known she was there. This is about catching a killer before it happens again.’

Now police are hoping to find out more about the hammer.

Det Supt May added: ‘We want to know was this hammer stolen, or has somebody lost that hammer in the period before December 29?’ Call 0500 600 600.