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Police search cottage near Bosham house where Valerie Graves was found dead
1:43pm Thursday 16th January 2014 in News
Police were today searching a cottage just 400 metres from where an artist was found murdered in a 1.6 million pounds waterside mansion.
The development comes just two days after a 22 year old man was arrested on suspicion of murdering 55 year old Valerie Graves, who was housesitting at the property.
Detectives were today granted an extra 24 hours to question the 22 year old, who was arrested on Tuesday. He is yet to be named.
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The body of Ms Graves, a grandmother and mother of two, was found with severe head and facial injuries in a bedroom of the mansion in affluent Bosham, near Chichester.
Last night police investigating her murder began searching a 480,000 pounds, three bedroom cottage on nearby Hoe Lane in Bosham.
Today a police guard had been posted outside the house and an officer said the people who live at the cottage were not presently there.
Detective superintendent Nick May from Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team today said: "This is one part of the significant and wide-ranging investigation into the murder of Valerie Graves."
Ms Graves body was found by relatives at the six-bedroom, detached house 9.50am on December 30.
She was looking after the property with her 87 year old mother Eileen Graves, sister Janet Graves, 60, and Janet's architect partner Nigel Acres, 59, while the owners holidayed abroad.
The death has shocked the quiet village of Bosham, which featured in an episode of ITV crime drama Midsomer Murders, featuring John Nettles.
Today a strong police presence remained at the house in Smugglers Lane.
Owner Malcolm Chamberlain, his wife and twin daughters were on holiday in Costa Rica over Christmas but have since returned to the UK.
Police said Ms Graves went to bed at 10pm on Sunday, December 29, and no one else in the house saw her until she was found at 9.50am the following day.
A post-mortem examination revealed she suffered head and facial injuries, although detectives have not confirmed whether a weapon was used.
Ms Graves' son, Tim Wood, 31, said she returned to nearby Bracklesham Bay two months ago to look after her frail mother.
She had been living in Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders, where she ran a fine art company.
Speaking on January 3, he said: "My mum was much loved and will be sorely missed by the whole family.
"She was a free-spirit who enjoyed her life and was a talented artist.
"She had lived in Scotland for about ten years. It was a place she loved and which inspired her passion for art.
"This has been 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 it is, to contact the police to help us catch whoever has done this horrible act."
Police asked for anybody who had seen a friend or relative covered in blood, or who had been acting strangely, to contact officers.
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