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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 September 2005, 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK
Hooded top clue to widow murder
Elsie Hughes
Mrs Hughes was known as Auntie Elsie to villagers
Detectives hunting the killer of a 90-year-old widow want to trace someone seen wearing a hooded top near her home on the night she was attacked.

North Wales Police said the person, thought to be a man, had been seen several times on Thursday night.

Elsie Hughes died in hospital on Friday after she was found badly injured in her home in Abermorddu, near Wrexham.

Detective Chief Superintendent Ross Duffield urged him to come forward to be eliminated from police inquiries.

We are extremely eager to trace this individual as he may hold the key to this inquiry
Det Ch Supt Ross Duffield
Mrs Hughes, known locally as Auntie Elsie, had also been the victim of a distraction burglary on 15 August, and police said while that may be linked to her "savage murder" it was just one line of inquiry.

She was found by her daughter and son-in-law with severe facial injuries in her lounge at 2100 BST on Thursday after being called by a neighbour who had heard a noise.

On Saturday police revealed there had been "numerous sightings" of the person in the "hoodie," which was light, possibly white.

The hood was pulled up, covering his head, and he was also wearing dark tracksuit bottoms and white trainers, and thought to have been carrying a carrier bag with a Spar logo.

He was seen between 2030 - 2045 BST in the Hawarden Road area.

The first sightings were near Mrs Hughes' home, and then walking towards the railway station. The last reported sighting was walking along Hawarden Road, between and Indian restaurant and Hope School, towards the village of Hope.

House-to-house inquiries

"There is a strong possibility that the sightings could be of the same individual," said Mr Duffield, the senior officer leading the investigation.

"There have been a number of sightings of this person on the evening that Mrs Hughes was attacked and we are extremely eager to trace this individual as he may hold the key to this inquiry.

"I am also appealing for this person to come forward so that we can eliminate him from our inquires."

Mr Duffield said there had been a good response to police appeals and urged people to continue to help.

Anyone who saw the person or someone matching his description between 1900 - 2200 BST in the Abermorddu, Caergwrle or Cefnybedd areas of Wrexham is asked to contact police immediately.

Officers are continuing house-to-house inquiries, and are visiting shops and pubs in Caergwrle and Abermorddu.

Forensic teams were still at Mrs Hughes' home on Saturday, with the examination expected to continue throughout the day.

Anyone with information can call 0845 6071002 (English language line), or 0845 6071001 (Welsh language line) or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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