Bosham Murder: Arrested Man Freed Without Charge

24 March 2014, 17:00

A 22-year-old man arrested over the murder of a grandmother who was killed as she house-sat for friends has been freed without charge.

He was held in January over the death of artist Valerie Graves, 55, after she was found dead in the village of Bosham, near Chichester, West Sussex.

Today, as he was due to answer bail, Sussex Police announced that he has now been released without charge.

Despite a £10,000 reward and the involvement of the National Crime Agency to provide offender profiling, no-one has been charged.

More than 200 people have been quizzed over the death of Ms Graves, who was found in a ground-floor bedroom at a waterside property in Smugglers Lane on December 30.

Police say they are keeping an open mind over why anyone would kill Ms Graves, who is believed to have been bludgeoned with a hammer.

She was murdered as she house-sat with her mother, sister and her sister's partner while the owners holidayed abroad over Christmas.

Ms Graves, who had recently moved back to Sussex from Scotland to be closer to her family, went to bed at 10pm on Sunday December 29.

She was found dead by one of her three relatives at around 10am the following day in the bedroom where she had been sleeping.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had suffered significant head and facial injuries, police have previously revealed.

The death shocked the small community of Bosham, which featured in an episode of the ITV crime drama Midsomer Murders.

Extra police patrols continue in the area. Chief Inspector Justin Burtenshaw said: "Some local residents are obviously concerned and we want to do all we can to reassure them.''

Relatives of Ms Graves, including her son Tim Wood and daughter Jemima Harrison, have paid tribute to her as a "free spirit who enjoyed her life and was a talented artist''.