Valerie Graves: Man arrested in Romania over murder of grandmother found bludgeoned to death in bed in 2013

A man has been arrested in Romania over the murder of a grandmother who was found bludgeoned to death in bed in 2013.

Valerie Graves, a 55-year-old artist, had been house sitting for friends in the coastal village of Bosham over the Christmas period.

On 30 December 2013, her sister found her dead in her bedroom with severe head and facial injuries.

The murder weapon – a claw hammer – was found 600 metres from the house.

Romanian national Cristian Sabou, 28, was arrested on Wednesday morning under a European Arrest Warrant.

Sussex Police said he was arrested at his home in the town of Dej by local officers, supported by British detectives.

Mr Sabou’s extradition is being sought and he was to appear at a court in Cluj-Napoca to face proceedings.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Fanner hailed a “major development” in the case and siad Ms Graves’ family had been informed. 

“We now hope to ensure, subject to the decision of the Romanian courts and judicial authorities, Sabou’s return to this country for an appearance before magistrates with a view to his being sent for crown court trial,” he added.

“This is a major development in our task of achieving justice for Valerie and her family, but now the case is before the courts, proceedings are active, and we are not in a position to disclose any further information at this time.”

Officers from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team had been working with the National Crime Agency, prosecutors and local law enforcement in Romania.

Police at a house where Valerie Graves was killed in December 2013, in Bosham, West Sussex (PA)

Police had offered a £10,000 reward for information during a manhunt, and had a breakthrough in 2014 when detectives obtained a partial DNA profile of the suspect.

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