Police investigating the murder of Fernhurst man Mick Griffiths have appealed for information about a black or dark-coloured car seen in the area on the morning of the fire that destroyed his home.
Mr Griffiths’ body was discovered by firefighters on Thursday, January 24.
A post mortem has shown he suffered serious injuries to his head and body, but the cause of his death has not been established and detectives are now awaiting the results of further tests.
Detective Chief Inspector Jeff Riley, from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who is leading the investigation, said: “Talking to people locally, we have established that an unfamiliar black or dark-coloured vehicle, possibly a 4x4 or SUV type, was seen parked on the pavement in Old Glebe on Thursday morning (January 24) around the time that the fire broke out, probably between 6.30 and 7.30am.
“It’s possible it was there in all innocence, but we really want to find out more about that vehicle and who was in it. If it was you, please get in touch as you may have information that could help us.
“We believe that the fire was started deliberately and evidence of accelerants have been found. We are talking to garages locally to see if anyone purchased petrol in a container in the time leading up to the fire, but there is the possibility that this purchase happened further afield. I would ask anyone working in garages anywhere in the area who has any suspicion about someone buying petrol in a can overnight on the Wednesday or early Thursday morning to give us a call.
“Finally, two builders who were at the scene advised neighbours not to try and get into the house as the fire had a hold and it could be dangerous for them to do so. They spoke to firefighters, but left before police arrived and without leaving their names. Again, I would ask them to get in touch.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Killick.