Police release pictures of hammer used to murder Valerie Graves in Bosham attack

A police photograph of the hammer thought to have been used to murder Valerie Graves
A police photograph of the hammer thought to have been used to murder Valerie Graves

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Detectives this afternoon released pictures of a hammer they believe was used to murder a woman in West Sussex.

Sussex Police say it was found in Bosham by the search team hunting the killer of Valerie Graves.

A close up picture of the hammer handle

A close up picture of the hammer handle

Miss Graves 55, was found dead at the £1.6m property in Smugglers Lane, Bosham, on Monday, December 30.

She and other members of her family had been house sitting while the owners were away over Christmas.

Police say she died from ‘significant’ head and facial injuries.

Detective Superintendent Nick May from Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said: “We need to know the origins of this hammer. Do you recognise it?

“We need people to check if they have lost such a hammer or had one stolen in the period leading up to the murder.

“We would also ask police officers, prison staff, probation officers and professionals who work in mental health, if they have dealt with anyone who has talked about causing someone harm with a hammer, to let us know.

“The hammer is about 30cm in length. It has a distinctive red and black handle and is embossed with the words Forge Steel with a picture of an outline of an anvil.

“If so we would like to hear from you. We are continuing to appeal for any information from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area from late afternoon on Sunday 29 December to 10am on Monday 30 December to come forward.”

Sussex Police asked anyone with information to call them on 101 quoting Operation Ensign or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

The release of the pictures comes after a 22-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of murdering Miss Graves in a waterside mansion has been released on police bail.