Fernhurst murder probe: police search for two men

Police officers stop to interview motorists at the Fernhurst murder scene.'''Photo by Louise Adams C130132-1 Mid Fernhurst Murder

Police officers stop to interview motorists at the Fernhurst murder scene.'''Photo by Louise Adams C130132-1 Mid Fernhurst Murder

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POLICE investigating the murder of Fernhurst villager Michael Griffiths are keen to trace two youths who called at his home earlier in the week he was viciously assaulted and left in his burning home.

Det Chief Ins Jeff Riley who is leading the inquiry said: “We have not identified the two youths or men who called at his home and snowballed the house when he answered.

“We do know that when they called they claimed to be police officers, so at this stage, we are still connecting them with the enquiry. We are very keen to establish who they were and if anyone else had the same experience or saw them in the area on the Tuesday night (January 22) before the fire.

“Similarly, we have not yet traced the black SUV or 4x4 that was seen in the area on the morning of the fire and as a result, this remains a suspicious vehicle of interest to us.

“The crime scene was severely damaged by the fire and as a result the associated forensic work was exhaustive and complicated. We have established that accelerants were used to start the fire.”

The lines of inquiry currently being followed by the police include talking to members of the antiques trade locally who either knew Michael or who may have had business dealings with him.

Det Chief Ins Riley said: “We have identified Michael had a keen interest in militaria and attended a number of fairs at Bisley. I would appeal to anyone who knew him or has any information about his business activities, either through the antiques trade or the militaria meeting, who have not spoken to us, to get in touch.

“I am determined that those responsible for Michael’s death will be brought to justice. If you have any information, no matter how small, that could assist us with our enquiry, please contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Killick.”