UPDATE: Twenty people contact Crimewatch after Valerie Graves appeal

A CRIMEWATCH appeal after Valerie Graves’ murder in Bosham has already generated around 20 responses.

Two of the calls have been of particular interest, with police now following up the information received.

The BBC broadcast last night (January 22) featured a previously unseen interview with Miss Graves discussing a university event in which she was taking part.

Miss Graves was found dead with significant head and facial injuries at a house in Smugglers Lane, Bosham, on Monday, December 30.

She and other members of her family had been staying at the property housesitting while the owners were away over the Christmas period.

Detective superintendent Nick May appeared to make an appeal for information and he talked about the weapon, a hammer, which police believe was used to kill Miss Graves.

This was found by police in Bosham during extensive searches of the area.

He said: “We received about 20 calls after the appeal and we’re particularly interested in a couple of the calls, which we will be following up.

“We would like to thank the public for their assistance but we still need to hear from anyone who may have information.

“We need to know the origins of the hammer and ask if people could 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.

“This hammer was available to buy in branches of Screwfix UK.

“We would also like to hear from anyone who say anything suspicious or unusual in the area from the afternoon of Sunday. December 29, to 10am on Monday, December 30.”

Chief inspector Justin Burtenshaw, district commander for Chichester, said there were extra neighbourhood police officers in Bosham who were doing daily patrols as well as scene guards.

“Any residents who have concerns or have any information should speak to the officers who are there in Bosham.”

Anyone with information should ring 101 or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting Operation Ensign or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.