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EAST HARLING MURDER: Police Chief says public may hold ‘vital clues’ to ‘brutal’ murder

Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett said 50 police officers were working on Operation Graduit. Picture: Andrew Martin.
Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett said 50 police officers were working on Operation Graduit. Picture: Andrew Martin.

A police chief has described the murder of a 83-year-old man in East Harling as ‘brutal’ and has called for members of the public who may hold “vital clues” to come forward.

At a press conference at Norfolk Constabulary’s Force Headquarters in Wymondham, Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett said that around 50 police officers were working on Operation Graduit.

He said that the victim is a white man, of slim built, 5ft 7in tall, with grey hair, wearing glasses, blue/grey trousers, black t-shirt and brown walking shoes.

A dogwalker found the victim’s body in woodland near the Fiveways junction. He was found with his nine-year-old Scarteen Harrier and a 13-year-old Trailhound cross dogs and his Red Skoda Fabia car left nearby.

Mr Fawcett said it was not known if the attacker was known to the victim, who he said to be a “well-known and respected member of the local community”.

He added: “I don’t have any information to suggest anything was stolen and the vehicle remained at the scene and that was recovered.”

Mr Fawcett added that he was not in a position to reveal the identity of the victim.

He said: “I would characterise this as a brutal murder on a 83-year-old male who has been out walking his dogs in the morning who has been attacked with a knife and stabbed in the neck and the head.”

He also said that police do not know the motive of the attack and that “the public could hold the key to this murder investigation”.

He added: “We are appealing to members of the public for more information on this out-of-the-ordinary crime.

“We remain in early stages of the investigation and whilst carrying out extensive inquiries we believe that a member of the public may hold a vital clue.”

Residents within a five mile radius of the crime scene will not have their bins collected to allow the bins and gardens to be checked for any clothes or knives discarded by the killer.

Investigators are also asking all residents and businesses within the same area that have CCTV systems to preserve any footage that relate to the hours between 6am until 9pm on August 5.

Similarly motorists who were travelling in the area on Saturday and have any dash-cam footage recorded during these times are asked to save the footage and to contact the police.

Mr Fawcett added: “The residents in East Harling and other local villages know their community better than anyone else and it’s these people I really want to appeal to; have you seen people or a vehicle which looks out of place? At the time it may have seemed insignificant but please contact my officers and let us decide if it’s relevant or not.”

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