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More than 100 officers involved in hunt for killer as detectives receive 220 calls from public

PUBLISHED: 06:51 12 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:06 12 August 2017

Police are pictured at the scene of the East Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Police are pictured at the scene of the East Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

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Detectives hunting the killer of 83-year-old Peter Wrighton who was stabbed to death in a frenzied attack a week ago have so far received more than 200 calls from the public but want to hear from even more people.

Peter Wrighton, who has been named as the 83-year-old man who was stabbed to death while walking his two dogs in East Harling, Norfolk. Picture Norfolk Constabualry.Peter Wrighton, who has been named as the 83-year-old man who was stabbed to death while walking his two dogs in East Harling, Norfolk. Picture Norfolk Constabualry.

More than 100 officers and staff are now working on the case following the discovery of Mr Wrighton’s body at 10.45am on Saturday, August 5 in woodland area near to the five ways junction in East Harling.

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith said:” We have already heard from more than 220 people but we will be exploring all avenues in our enquiries and we are still keen to hear from more.

MORE: How you can help catch Peter Wrighton’s killer

“In particular we want to be called by or about two different men who were seen in different areas close to the murder scene. These men are described as:

CCTV image of Peter Wrighton at Kenninghall Post OfficeCCTV image of Peter Wrighton at Kenninghall Post Office

• White, with a tanned complexion, aged 25-30 years and between 5’9’’ and 5’11’’ 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. He was seen within the boundary marked on the map in red.

• 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.

Det Supt Andy Smith added, “We know there will be other key witnesses, for instance the man who was changing his top in previous appeals has been identified and will be spoken to in due course. This goes to show how important our appeals are and there will be more people we need to speak to in the coming days.

MORE: Animal attack ruled out in East Harling murder case

Peter Wrighton, who has been named as the 83-year-old man who was stabbed to death while walking his two dogs in East Harling, Norfolk. Picture Norfolk Constabualry.Peter Wrighton, who has been named as the 83-year-old man who was stabbed to death while walking his two dogs in East Harling, Norfolk. Picture Norfolk Constabualry.

“We will also be appealing to them directly for information to help us in this investigation. These descriptions will be published on our social media channels, website and through the media.

“We already know that Peter’s last known sighting was within the Kenninghall Post Office between 10:08 and 10:12am on Saturday but we still want to hear from anyone who saw him either before that time or after. His car, a red Skoda Fabia, was parked close to The Street, the road close to the heathland where he was walking his dogs Dylan and Gemma.

“We also want to hear from delivery drivers who might have travelled through or have been in the area on Saturday and who could have important dash cam footage for us to review. In addition, anyone else with images or footages of the area should contact us.

“The breadth of investigation is far reaching and involves numerous strands. Our main lines of enquiry include forensic investigations, extensive searches, witness interviews, house to house liaison, CCTV enquiries and close liaison with Peter’s family.”

Police are still searching for the break through in the East Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLYPolice are still searching for the break through in the East Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

“The Family Liaison Officers (FLOs) assigned to this investigation work closely with the family, who are partners in the investigation, to offer both support and to assist in the investigation. FLOs offer support to the family around the clock, giving advice and guidance.

MORE: Descriptions released of three men detectives want to trace in connection with the murder of Peter Wrighton in East Harling

“A team of Police Search Advisors are leading a number of searches at the scene. The search area is considerable and the search team are using a range of detection techniques and methods including use of metal detectors and dogs. It has been fingertip level searches in key areas to ensure all available evidence is identified and recovered.

Forensic examinations are progressing under the direction of a crime scene co-ordinator and two senior crime scene investigators.

A variety of specialists are supporting these examinations using Forensic Service providers to access the latest scientific techniques.

Norfolk’s County Policing Commander, chief superintendent Mike Fawcett, addressed local residents’ concerns.

He said: “This is a significant murder investigation for the Constabulary.

“As such we now have over 100 officers and staff working on this enquiry with specialist officers from the National Crime Agency and other Forces and partners offering assistance. We have also been using our drone to take images of the scene.

“I can assure local residents that our presence will remain in the area for the foreseeable future and I hope this provides local communities with confidence that we are here to support and protect them.

Information to Norfolk police on 0800 056 0944 or 0207 158 0010, quoting Operation Graduate, visit the mobile police station or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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