A KILLER broke into a home through an unlocked door leading to where Valerie Graves was sleeping, detectives have revealed.
Police investigating the murder of the 55-year-old artist have also revealed how the killer must have known Bosham well and may have been back for Christmas.
It is now eight months since Valerie was found dead after being bludgeoned with a hammer while she was house-sitting at a property in Smugglers Lane.
Detectives say they have spoken to more than 5,000 people as part of their investigation and issued a £10,000 reward in a bid to catch the murderer.
Detective Superintendent Nick May, leading the murder hunt, said: ‘There is a working hypothesis this is someone who is not known to Valerie or the family.
‘It was between Christmas and New Year. It was a pretty phenomenal night. Bosham was almost flooded at that point.
‘It is difficult to imagine somebody has come by this accidently. We believe the person involved has links to the area. That does not mean they still live in the area, they may have been back over Christmas.’
Detectives have been given many names since the start of their inquiry on December 30, although many have been eliminated.
DSI May added: ‘Every time we eliminate someone, that is a positive investigation.’
DSI May said he is in close contact with the National Crime Agency to see if any similar crimes have happened in the UK, before and after the murder. Nothing has been flagged up so far.