East Harling councillors and residents say they are “shocked” after the brutal murder of an 83-year-old family man in the village.
A manhunt is underway to find the killer after a father-of-two, who has not yet been named, suffered multiple stab wounds to his head and neck whilst walking two dogs in broad daylight.
I was there last Friday on my own and there are quite a few ladies who go on their own. It’s very unusual and scary what’s happenedElizabeth Mould, vice-chairman, Harling Parish Council
Police were called by a member of the public at about 10.45am on Saturday after his body was found in woodland near the Fiveways junction. The dogs had stayed by his body until it was discovered by a passer-by.
Harling Parish Council vice-chairman Elizabeth Mould, who revealed the woods were popular with dog walkers, said: “I was there last Friday on my own and there are quite a few ladies who go on their own. It’s very unusual and scary what’s happened.”
Councillor Colin Forder said details of the attack were scarce.
He added: “I have two children and we often take the dog for a walk in the woods so it’s worrying.”
The woodland where the man was murdered is managed by the Forestry Commission and popular with dog walkers.
Today concerned dog walkers could be seen queuing to speak to police officers close to the scene, which is surrounded by piles of logged wood and a pig farm.
A 78-year-old dog walker, who did not want to be named, said: “I was here on Saturday and did see police cars along here but that’s all I knew.
“I didn’t know what they were there for or anything.
“It’s shocking not just surprising.”
Ted Pheasant, who works at F.L. Edge Butchers in East Harling, said: “It was just a shock to find out there was a murder.”
He recalled seeing several police cars “roaring” through the village with their blue lights ablaze on Saturday.
Mr Pheasant said: “On Saturday there was a couple of police cars which raced through and another three after that.
“I thought someone said there was an accident at the crossroads but never heard anything more about it.”
Ch Supt Mike Fawcett, of Norfolk Police, urged people to be extra vigilant when going out but insisted he wasn’t telling worried locals to stay indoors.
He said: “I’m not saying don’t go out walking on your own.
“We’ve had this attack which is out of the ordinary in that area which has been flooded with police officers.
“This was a brutal murder with no motive on a married family man.
“We really need as much information from the public as possible to help us with this investigation.”