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East Harling murder: Homes in Cringleford, near Norwich, and Bawdeswell, searched as part of investigation into killing of Peter Wrighton

PUBLISHED: 09:24 13 August 2017 | UPDATED: 20:16 13 August 2017

Peter Wrighton with one of his dogs. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary.

Peter Wrighton with one of his dogs. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary.

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Police investigating the murder of 83-year-old Peter Wrighton have been searching homes in Cringleford and Bawdeswell as part of their probe.

Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham, whose body was found in East Harling.  Picture Norfolk ConstabularyPeter Wrighton, 83, of Banham, whose body was found in East Harling. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

The body of Mr Wrighton, from Banham, was discovered in woodland near East Harling last Saturday. He had been stabbed repeatedly in the neck and head.

Detectives arrested a man in his 20s on suspicion of murder on Saturday morning, who remains in police custody.

But it has also emerged that police and specialist forensic teams have been carrying out searches at various addresses, including a property in Cringleford, on the outskirts of Norwich, and another in Bawdeswell, near Reepham, as part of the East Harling murder probe.

A police spokesman said of the search of the house in Cringleford: “We can say it’s one of a number of locations which are linked to the ongoing investigation.”

Aerial view of murder scene, near East Harling. PIC: Supplied by Norfolk police.Aerial view of murder scene, near East Harling. PIC: Supplied by Norfolk police.

The spokesman said they were not able to provide any more details about the searches at this stage for operational reasons.

More than 100 Norfolk police officers and staff have been working on the case following the discovery of Mr Wrighton’s body at 10.45am last Saturday - a killing which shocked the local community.

Dedicated phone lines were set up and more than 220 people have contacted the police following their appeal for information over the killing of the pensioner, who was described by his family as “a lovely, gentle husband, dad and grandfather.”

Police had made a direct appeal to the public for help finding two men seen in different areas close to the murder scene.

The men were described as:

• White, with a tanned complexion, aged 25 to 30 years and between 5ft 9ins and 5ft 11ins tall.

He was of an athletic build with short dark wavy hair and dark eyes. It is believed he was wearing a grey or blue t-shirt and grey floppy gym style shorts above the knee and heavy duty flip flops.

• White, aged 30 to 50 years old, of a medium build and wearing dark coloured clothing. He was seen walking without a dog in the northern area of the heath.

Police had also issued CCTV footage of the last sighting of Mr Wrighton at the Kenninghall Post Office - between 10.08am and 10.12am last Saturday - only about half an hour before a member of the public discovered his body.

The former BT worker, who lived with his wife Ann, had made the short drive, in his red Skoda Fabia, from the post office to the woods to walk his dogs Dylan and Gemma.

A team of police search advisors has been leading a number of searches at the scene, while people living nearby were asked to check their bins for weapons or anything unusual.

Police were stopping drivers near the murder scene today to carry out anniversary checks one week on from the discovery of Mr Wrighton’s body.

Enquiries are continuing and detectives ask that anyone with information should contact Norfolk police immediately on 0800 056 0944 or 0207 158 0010, quoting Operation Graduate.

They can also visit the mobile police station or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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