MURDER cops are hoping that the husband of an OAP who was brutally murdered in her own home will recover enough to help point the finger at their violent attacker.
Elderly Freda Walker, 86, was found dead inside her home of 50 years while her husband Kenneth, 88, remains in hospital in a critical condition.
The pair were discovered in the quiet village of Langwith Junction, Derbyshire, following the horror attack on Saturday morning.
Officers’ have confirmed that the former mayor of Bolsover remains in hospital in a critical condition.
But it is understood that they will ask him about the incident when he is able to answer questions, in the hope that he will be able to give them vital information about his wife’s killer.
Council leader Steve Fritchley has said he is praying for his friend to “make a full recovery”, after he celebrated his birthday two days before the horrific ordeal.
He explained how his friend, who was a retired mining safety inspector, had been fighting cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy leading up to the attack
Mr Fritchley told The Sun: “This is awful news and has really shocked me. I saw him only last month at an awards ceremony and he was cracking jokes at the time.
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“He was suffering from cancer, either the throat or upper chest, and he was having treatment.
“Ken’s a fighter, he’s a survivor. He’s survived local politics and union politics for a hell of a long time, and he’s been having treatment for cancer.
“What happened doesn’t bear thinking about. He was frail because of his illness but still had a fighting spirit.
“He would have wanted to try to fight off any attacker, he would have wanted to protect his wife.
“Freda was quite active and when I last saw her she was feeding me sausage rolls!
“To have had her life ended like that is unimaginable. What has happened in today’s society?”
Last month Kenneth, who used to sit on Shirebrook Town Council, was awarded an honorary status for his service to Bolsover District Council.
Cops are desperately hunting for their attacker, who they believe is a stranger to the couple, and have ruled out the assault as a domestic incident.
Derbyshire Police confirmed that they are looking at “all lines” of inquiry, and are understood to be probing other unsolved violent attacks in the area.
‘NICEST PERSON IN THE WORLD’
Mr Fritchley added: “I’ve known Ken and Freda for many years. They are both well known in the area and lovely people.
“Ken was involved with the council and charities and Freda was always by his side supporting him.”
“People living on their own and the elderly will feel vulnerable. They say lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place but you can’t be sure.”
Bolsover MP Mark Fletcher has paid tribute to Kenneth and his wife, saying his “thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time”.
One heartfelt tribute for Freda read: “To the best friend anyone could ever have had in their lives.
“I shall miss you so much. I cannot believe this has happened to the nicest person in the world.”
Detectives are urging anyone living in the area to stay vigilant, and be prepared to call 999.
Officers from Derbyshire Police have warned that the shocking incident had a “serious level of violence” used.
He was frail because of his illness but still had a fighting spirit.
Chief Superintendent Hayley Barnett said: “This couple were well known here. I know that many people who knew them were shocked by this horrific incident.
“I want to appeal to anybody who has any information in relation to this incident to come forward as a matter of urgency.
“I must confirm that no arrests have been made in this case and this is not a domestic incident.
“There was also a serious level of violence used in the incident and we are doing all we can to understand the circumstances and find those responsible.
“If you were in the area on the 14th of January through to the 15th, please contact police officers as we especially want to find anybody who may have any dashcam footage and anybody in the area that has CCTV.
“I do urge people to carry out good security in relations to their homes.
“Keep their doors and windows locked and do not let any strangers in. Don’t keep any valuables on display.
“And to have a means of making contact with emergency services if needs be.”
Cops remain at the scene and locals have been warned there will be a significant police presence for some time.
Officers are appealing for anybody with information to come forward “as a matter of urgency”.
Anyone who may be able to help detectives with their enquiries is asked to contact police including reference 240-150122.