Una Crown's Wisbech murder: Knife not used to kill pensioner

Una Crown
Image caption Former post office worker Una Crown was killed in her own home

A knife found close to a murdered pensioner's home was not the weapon that killed her, police have revealed.

Widow Una Crown, 86, was found dead in her home on Magazine Lane, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, on 13 January. She had been stabbed and set on fire.

A "large" knife was found five days after she died by a man delivering newspapers in a nearby street.

But, Cambridgeshire Police said it had been "eliminated from our enquiries and [not connected] to the murder."

Officers said they now know the knife, which was hidden by snow, had been left there shortly before the member of the public found it.

The pensioner's body was found at 10:45 GMT on the Sunday, two days after she was last seen alive. A friend had however, spoken to her on the phone at 17:00 GMT, the night before she was found dead.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died from stab wounds.

'Terrible crime'

Cambridgeshire Police said her clothing had been set on fire following her death in an apparent effort to cover up her injuries and destroy evidence.

Police said they now believed there was an electrical fault with the hob on Mrs Crown's cooker, but could not confirm whether they believed that started the fire or whether an accelerant was used.

Three men were seen near her home on the Saturday night between about 23:30 and 23:45 GMT, the force said.

A £10,000 reward is being offered by charity Crimestoppers for information which leads to the conviction of her killer.

Image caption Una Crown's body was found in her Wisbech bungalow

Det Ch Insp Jon Hutchinson said: "We are very keen to identify the three men who were seen in the area of Magazine Lane as they may hold vital information which could help our investigation."

Mrs Crown's niece Judy Payne, 69, said in a police statement her family "desperately wants justice" over her killing, stating, "whoever committed this terrible crime needs to be caught."

Mrs Payne said her aunt ran Elm Post Office with her late husband Jack, known as Ron, after they got married in April 1948.

After retiring, Mrs Crown had a number of office jobs, including one at a solicitors.

"She was a very healthy, but private lady who enjoyed being in the company of her relatives and friends," said Mrs Payne.

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