Police investigating the murder of Perthshire pensioner Jenny Methven have widened the search for the weapon used in the brutal killing.
Officers have been combing the countryside over a greater area around Mrs Methven’s cottage and the nearby village of Forteviot in an effort to trace the weapon which was used to inflict head and body injuries in the violent attack on the 80-year-old.
Police are also appealing to the public to be on the lookout for bloodstained or unusual items which have been discarded following the murder on February 20.
”We are extending our search efforts in and around the village with the aim of locating further information and, potentially, the murder weapon,” explained Detective Chief Inspector Colin Gall. ”Police search advisors have joined our search-trained officers with a view to locating any evidence that could assist us. We are looking for the weapon that was used to kill Mrs Methven. We know that it is a blunt object rather than any sharp or bladed instrument.
”To this end we would ask people, perhaps if they are out and about walking the dog, cycling or exercising to look out for anything that might be out of place. It’s possible they might even spot something that appears bloodstained. If they have any suspicions whatsoever, they should call us.”
The man heading the murder hunt also praised the public for their response.
”This was a brutal attack which led to the death of an elderly woman in her own home,” said DCI Gall. ”Understandably, the public response has been one of horror and revulsion. But people, within the local community in particular, have demonstrated a real determination to assist our efforts in finding the person responsible.
”Thanks in no small part to the public response and the support of the media, we are building a very accurate picture of the comings and goings in Forteviot and the wider Strathearn valley on February 20. I’m delighted with the number of people who have come forward, either to offer information to us, or to allow us to eliminate them from our inquiries.”
DCI Gall also confirmed that Mrs Methven was seen out walking her spaniel dog near her home, just prior to 9am on the day of her death.
The inquiry team also wants to trace two vans that were seen about 500 yards east of Mrs Methven’s cottage on the Forteviot road from Forgandenny at about 10.15am on the Monday.
A van was stopped on the roadside which had LDV written on its right side near to the bottom. Another white vehicle was travelling in the opposite direction at the time which had Draincure written on it.
At almost the same time, two cyclists were seen in the area.
Tayside Police want to speak to the vans’ occupants and the cyclists as well as the driver of a vehicle that Mrs Methven herself heard pull up to her home at about 10.30am.
They also want to identify and speak with the occupants of two white or light-coloured vehicles parked nose to tail in her drive at about 1.45pm that day.
The inquiry team is also appealing to people who commute through the area by rail to speak to them.