Put old loyalties aside and give us name of Vera’s killer, urge police

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DETECTIVES investigating the murder of a South Yorkshire pensioner 10 years ago are urging people to put old loyalties behind them and name the killer.

Vera Cooper, aged 80, was strangled in her home. Her murderer has never been found. To mark the anniversary Vera’s relatives said they wanted justice – and today detectives made another appeal for information to help them crack the case.

Mrs Cooper’s body was found in her bungalow on Greenbank Walk, Grimethorpe, Barnsley, after a worried neighbour could not contact her.

Cash was missing and a CCTV camera outside the OAP’s home had been removed, though there was no sign of forced entry to the property.

Today Detective Inspector Steve Handley, who has worked on the case since Mrs Cooper’s body was found, said arrests have been made over the years but detectives need the final piece of the jigsaw to solve the mystery.

“The difficulty has always been that we have not got that key piece of information that would positively direct us towards the individual responsible,” he said.

“We have explored a number of hypotheses over the years around somebody calling at Vera’s home.

“There is good information that she was security conscious so she would not have let just anyone in.

“We think it’s highly probable the identity of the caller would have been known to her.”

He said people who could help crack the case but never came forward at the time may do so now.

“People are aligned to different people over time and circumstances change, so people who know what happened may not have the loyalty they once felt. I would urge them to come forward,” added DI Handley.

“It is a big heavy thing to carry around with you for 10 years and they may not have felt able to come to the police at the time but may be in a position to do so now.

“I am confident that with the right information we will be able to go to Vera’s family and tell them who was involved and why their loved one died.”

Call South Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote incident 246 of January 23 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.