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Botched burglary may have led to murder

PUBLISHED: 14:41 17 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

SIGNS of a forced entry to 15 Boydlands indicate that Joan Albert could have been murdered in a bungled burglary.

The murder hunt was launched yesterday morning after police were called to her detached home shortly after 10am by friends of the victim.

SIGNS of a forced entry to 15 Boydlands indicate that Joan Albert could have been murdered in a bungled burglary.

The murder hunt was launched yesterday morning after police were called to her detached home shortly after 10am by friends of the victim.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Cole said friends had phoned the pensioner but when they failed to get an answer they called on the widow's two-storey home and still failed to get a reply so contacted neighbours who had a key.

"As a result of what they discovered, they called us," DCI Cole said.

The 79-year-old pensioner was "laying in the hallway of her home", he added, telling how she was dressed in her nightclothes.

"There appears to have been signs of an attack. The degree of violence will obviously be established as a result of the post mortem examination", Det Ch Insp Cole added, saying he was unable to confirm whether or not a weapon had been used.

"The circumstances are such that it does indicate that the death is suspicious. We are not in the position to give the cause of death," he said, adding that the post mortem examination was due to be carried out today.

During the day a police search team on hands and knees combed an alleyway near the victim's home for clues to her death. As they began their quest for clues grief stricken neighbours struggled to comprehend the tragedy which has shattered village life in Capel St Mary.

At least 15 officers were currently investigating the killing and would be based at an incident room at Suffolk Police's Martlesham headquarters where detectives would use the HOLMES (Home Office Large Major Enquiry System) computer system - used for major inquiries such as the Sarah Payne and Vicky Hall inquiries, he said. And he confirmed that the Suffolk force would be liasing with other neighbouring forces including Essex as part of the investigation.

Det Ch Insp Cole described the woman's death as "what appears to be a horrific incident" but was unable to confirm whether anything was missing from Mrs Albert's home.

He stressed that such an incident was "out of the ordinary in a place such as Capel" and urged residents not to panic but to exercise "normal safety measures" such as locking windows and doors.

People with elderly friends or relatives in the neighbourhood should make contact to reassure them, he said.

And anyone who saw anything suspicious or was in the area of Boydlands or nearby Thorney Road between Saturday night and Sunday morning should contact Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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