A “significant level of violence” was used during an attack that left an elderly woman dead and her husband in a critical condition in hospital, police said.
Officers have launched a homicide investigation following the incident in Station Road, Langwith Junction, around 1 p.m. 9 Saturday, January 15th. Nottinghamshire Police have since refused to rule out a link between the incident and a burglary in Trowell.
Assistant Chief Constable Dave Kirby, for Derbyshire Police, said that although the force does not link any incidents at this stage, they are looking at similar incidents and confirmed that one of their investigation lines for the murder investigation is burglary.
On Monday, January 17, Derbyshire Police confirmed the death of 86-year-old Freda Walker in her home.
Kirby said Freda’s husband Ken, 88, “was left for dead” and remains in critical condition at the hospital.
Ken is a member of the Shirebrook Town Council and has served as chairman on 10 different occasions.
He has also represented the area in the Bolsover District Council.
Kirby said: “We are pursuing a number of lines of investigation, including burglary, but we have an open mind.
“I’m convinced we’ll get to the bottom of this.
“We are looking at other events that may be similar to this and that may be possible to connect, but at this time we are not linking other events to this one.
“Freda and Ken were very well known in the Langwith Junction area – and there has been an understandable outpouring of grief after Freda’s death.
“My thoughts go to her family and friends – and to the wider community, who are understandably shocked by the news.
“Our thoughts are also with Ken at the moment, who is still in a critical condition in the hospital.
“A significant level of violence was used in this incident and although we can not go into the details of the offense at this time, this is not being investigated as an incident in the home.
“Again, I understand that this will come as a shock to society and there will be understandable concern.
“There is an increased police presence in the area and high visibility patrols will continue in the coming days. I would urge anyone with concerns to speak to officers on patrol or contact the force directly.
“Finally, I would urge anyone with information, especially drivers with dashcam footage or homeowners with CCTV, to cover the time between.”
Officers have refused to rule out that this incident is linked to an investigation into a serious burglary in Trowell, in which a man and a woman in their 80s were asleep when offenders entered their house, demanded money from them and injured them.
The incident took place in a house in Stoney Lane around 12.26pm.
The suspect must have demanded money from the couple before fleeing the property.
The woman is reported to have sustained cuts to the right side of her head, severe swelling of the arm and a possible broken jaw.
Her husband is said to have injuries to his face, arms and body, but the injuries to both victims are not believed to be life-threatening or life-changing.
And about 12 officers were seen searching a piece of the forest this morning (Monday, January 17) – next to the country road – where a large barrier has been put in place.
The force later confirmed that the search was part of an ongoing investigation into a “malicious” attack earlier this month.
Detective Inspector Nicholas Hall of Nottinghamshire Police said: “Officers investigating a serious burglary in Stoney Lane, Trowell, around 12.26pm on January 6, keep an open mind as to whether it could be linked to a murder investigation in Langwith Junction, Derbyshire .
“In response to societal concerns and media speculation, we would like to make it clear that with any investigation like this, we will always look at similar incidents to see if they can be linked.
“It’s very early in both studies, and at the moment, although we can not rule out a link, there is also no evidence to suggest that they are linked.
“We will be in close contact with our colleagues in Derbyshire as their investigation continues.
“We would like to send our condolences to those affected by the Langwith Junction murder.
“Our officers are working incredibly hard to get to the bottom of what happened in Stoney Lane, Trowell, but we would again like to encourage anyone with any information or CCTV footage to contact us as this information may be of great benefit from our inquiries. “
Residents of Trowell also spoke of their shock after two police vans were seen.
Sian Langham, a national account manager at Windsor Close, 31, added: “We moved here in November and thought this is a fairly quiet area.
“We had police who came around and asked if we had any CCTV footage, but we have not been told otherwise since.
“We feel we have been kept in the dark.
“It’s very worrying.”
Susan Worboys, a resident who has lived in the area for 45 years, said: “We locked everything inside because we are very worried.”
The 69-year-old added: “I know the police came around to warn the residents but we must have been out when they arrived.
“Our house is pretty safe, but we’re still worried and shocked.
“It’s just unusual for a place like this.
“I know there were a couple in the ’70s who were attacked, and that just worries me.”
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