Tributes to friendly murder victim, 79

A community has paid tribute to “a friendly lady” who was murdered in her home at a sheltered housing complex. Heather Burton, 79, was found dead in her bungalow in Reepham, on Saturday morning.

A community in mourning last night paid tribute to “a friendly lady” who was murdered in her home at a sheltered housing complex.

Heather Burton, 79, was found dead in her bungalow in Sun Barn Walk, Reepham, on Saturday morning by police who had been called to the property.

Yesterday as news of the murder spread, shocked neighbours stayed behind locked doors - emerging only occasionally to watch police officers carry out the investigation.

A 30-strong police task force including forensics, scene of the crime officers and detectives carrying out door to door enquiries, is headed up by Det Chief Supt Chris Hobley from Norfolk's Major Incident Team.

Police tape still surrounds the scene with a uniformed officer on guard at all times and throughout yesterday teams of forensics carrying specialist equipment visited the property.

Police have not revealed how Mrs Burton died.

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A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently being held at Dereham Police Station for questioning. The man is aged in his 60s and is from Reepham.

It is understood he is not related to Mrs Burton.

Martin Brooks, who used to live next door to Mrs Burton until she moved into the complex managed by Reepham Housing Trust about three years ago, said: “She was always out and about town. Always with her bicycle pushing it around for all those years. I never knew how she managed it.

“She was always very friendly and looked very smart. When I first heard she'd died I assumed it was through natural causes.

“I always thought Reepham was a nice quiet little place. It looks like it's the same as everywhere else. It's such a shame.”

The sheltered housing at Sun Barn Walk is managed by Reepham Housing Trust, with support provided for residents by EPIC Trust in the form of regular visits from staff backed up by a 24 hour call system.

Janette Gaffney, director of care from EPIC Trust, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death and our condolences are with her friends and family.”

Det Chief Supt Hobley said: “We are confident we will uncover the full circumstances and who is responsible for this.

“I'm very keen to speak to anybody who may have used the cut through next to the house between 4.30pm on Friday November 2 and 10am on Saturday November 3.

“Anybody who did should call 0845 4564567.”

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