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Dark car parked outside home of murdered antique dealer Michael Griffiths
A dark car was seen parked outside the burning home of an antique dealer who was discovered battered and dead in his hallway.
Police investigating the murder of 59-year-old Michael Griffiths, also a jewellery designer, have appealed for information about a black or dark-coloured car that was seen in the area on the morning of the fire that destroyed his home.
They have also appealed for anyone who sold petrol in a can to people overnight on Wednesday, January 23, or Thursday, January 24, to come forward.
And they want two builders who were at the scene during the early hours of Thursday, January 24, and advised neighbours not to try and get into the house as the fire had a hold to come forward.
Mr Griffiths’ body was discovered by firefighters in the hallway of his home in Old Glebe, Fernhurst, on Thursday, January 24.
A post-mortem has shown that Mr Griffiths, who worked at John Nicholson Auction House, near Midhurst, suffered serious injuries to his head and body, but the cause of his death has not been established and detectives are now awaiting the results of further tests.
Detective Chief Inspector Jeff Riley said: “Talking to people locally, we have established that an unfamiliar black or dark-coloured vehicle, possibly a 4x4 or SUV type, was seen parked on the pavement in Old Glebe on Thursday, January 24 morning around the time that the fire broke out, probably between 6.30am and 7.30am.
“It's possible that it was there in all innocence, but we really want to find out more about that vehicle and who was in it. If it was you, please get in touch as you may have information that could help us.
"We believe that the fire was started deliberately and evidence of accelerants have been found.
“We are talking to garages locally to see if anyone purchased petrol in a container in the time leading up to the fire, but there is the possibility that this purchase happened further afield.
“I would ask anyone working in garages anywhere in the area who has any suspicion about someone buying petrol in a can overnight on the Wednesday or early Thursday morning to give us a call.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Killick