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Murdered Artist's Family Join Police Appeal
The family of an artist who was found murdered while house sitting in the West Sussex village of Bosham have made an emotional appeal for help in finding her killer.
Valerie Graves' son, Tim Wood, sitting alongside his sister Jemima Harrison at a news conference, said: "This is devastating for the family and has come as a complete shock.
"We would appeal to anyone who has any information about this, no matter how trivial, to contact police to help as catch whoever has done this horrible act."
Ms Graves, 55, who had been looking after the detached home with three members of her family while the owners were abroad over Christmas, was found with significant head and facial injuries on Monday.
Det Supt Nick May said police would be "very interested" to hear about anyone who may have come home in different clothes or blood-stained clothes.
"Or was anyone asked to wash clothing or asked to dispose of clothing in unusual circumstances late on Sunday, December 29, or up until Monday, December 30?," he went on.
Police are investigating a possible break-in, he said. Officers are looking at whether the attack could have involved someone in her life now or someone she knew in the past.
Det Supt May repeated an earlier appeal for witnesses who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area from late afternoon on Sunday, December 29 to around 9am on Monday, December 30.
He said Ms Graves went to bed about 10pm on Sunday and was found at about 10am the following morning, in a bedroom at the rear of the house.
Police patrols have been boosted in the area.
Mr Wood said his mother, who had moved back to Sussex from Scotland to look after her mother, had spent a happy Christmas with her family including two young grandchildren.
Ms Graves' family said earlier: "Val was a much-loved daughter, sister, mum and nan, who will be sorely missed by the whole family.
"Val was a free spirit who enjoyed her life and was a talented artist, about to embark on a new path involving ceramics.
"She was an eternal student who was always hungry for a new challenge."
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