Anonymous letter handed in as net closes on murderer

Chief Inspector Sharon Woolrich

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AN ANONYMOUS letter that claims to provide information on the Valerie Graves murder case is being investigated by police.

The letter was posted to the Bognor Regis office of The News’ sister paper, the Chichester Observer, and claimed to name the killer.

Staff handed the letter to the police. The three members of staff who handled it were all DNA tested to differentiate them from its author.

Detective Sergeant Duncan Elliott said: ‘It’s still being investigated. It’s difficult to know what weight to give it at the moment, but we are doing various checks and assessments on it.’

So far more than 1,200 people have come forward to give a mouth swab and fingerprint since police launched a mass DNA screening in Bosham last month.

Sessions are being held at the Millstream Hotel in Bosham until Saturday and then again from Tuesday until February 15.

Police are calling on men aged 17 and over who live, work or have visited Bosham to come forward so they can be eliminated from the inquiry.

Det Sgt Elliott said: ‘We’ve had a great response from the local community, but we need more people to come forward. We are getting closer and we believe we will catch the killer, but this is one way to get there quicker.’

Mrs Graves, 55, was murdered while house-sitting at a property in Smugglers Lane, Bosham, during Christmas 2013.