09/08/2017 15:41 BST

East Harling Murder Victim Named As Peter Wrighton And Pictured For The First Time

'Peter was immensely kind and never had a bad word to say about anybody.'

An 83-year-old man who was stabbed to death while out walking his two dogs in Norfolk has been remembered as “a lovely, gentle husband, dad and grandfather”.

The family of Peter Wrighton on Wednesday paid tribute to his “kind nature” and his “love of walking his dogs and chatting with people to pass the time of day” following his brutal murder on Saturday.

The pensioner died after being stabbed in the head and neck in an attack where police say the “motive remains unclear”.

A member of the public called police around 10.45am after finding Wrighton in woodland near the Fiveways Junction, south of the village of East Harling, near Thetford.

Norfolk Police
The family of Peter Wrighton, the 83-year-old murdered while out walking his dogs in Norfolk, have remembered him as a 'lovely, gentle husband, dad and grandfather'

Wrighton, his family said, had worked for British Telecom for 35 years and retired to the area 30 years ago where he enjoyed living a simple life with his family and dogs.

His wife, of 59 years, and his family added: “Peter was immensely kind and never had a bad word to say about anybody and people always seemed to take a liking to him.

“We are extremely thankful for all the people who have come forward to speak with the police and hope we will soon be able to understand why this has happened.

“When we think of Peter we remember him with with fond and happy memories that will stay with us always.”

Police on Wednesday further appealed to the public for information to help find Wrighton’s killer. 

Norfolk’s County Policing Commander, Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett, said: “I would like to reassure the public that we are following several lines of enquiry and are pleased the public are supporting us in our investigation. We have received more than 100 calls in the last three days and we would continue to urge people with information, particularly those who were in the area between 9am and 11m, to make contact.

Norfolk Police
Wrighton was found in woodland near the Fiveways Junction, south of the village of East Harling, near Thetford, on Saturday

“I would like to ask again, that if you live within five miles of The Street please can you check your bins, gardens and outbuildings for any items which may have been discarded by a potential suspect.”

Fawcett further requested that any premises or businesses in the same area with CCTV systems “preserve any footage” from the hours of 6am until 9pm on Saturday. Similarly, he appealed to motorists who may have travelled in the area and have dash-cam footage, to turn their footage in. 

“We remain concerned that we have not yet been able to trace the person or people responsible for Peter’s death. I hope residents will take some reassurance from the increased policing presence today which will be continuing throughout the evening and as long as is necessary, but I am aware that this incident will be causing some to worry. I would ask people to remain vigilant and to contact us if they see anything suspicious,” Fawcett said. 

Anyone with information about the murder or any suspicious activity should contact Norfolk Police immediately on 101, quoting Operation Graduate, visit the mobile police station or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.