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Murder investigation in North Yorkshire

Murder investigation in North Yorkshire

5:53am 24th March 2010
(Updated 5:43am 26th March 2010)

A murder investigation is underway following the death of a post office mistress in North Yorkshire.

Yesterday morning North Yorkshire Ambulance Service found 40 year old Diana Garbutt upstairs in her quiet village store in Melsonby near Richmond. They pronounced her dead at the scene.

A post mortem examination which was carried out yesterday evening, has revealed that she died from severe head injuries.

Diana lived at the post office and ran the business with her husband Robin.

What police believe happened...

Robin had opened up the shop at around 4:30am. He was serving customers before the Post Office itself opened at 8:30am. It was around this time a man appeared in the shop coming from the living quarters. He was carrying a firearm and threatened Mr. Garbutt, saying 'we’ve got your wife'.

The offender made off with a large amount of cash.

Robin then found his wife upstairs, and called an ambulance. Paramedics arrived and pronounced her dead at the scene.

Appeal for help

Police are appealing for anyone who was in Melsonby between the hours of 4am. and 9am. and saw anything suspicious to contact them.

The offender is described   5’ 11” , skinny build; he was wearing a tight fitting black mask described as a balaclava, a dark blue long sleeved ‘T’ shirt and dark black coloured jeans which were low on the waist  with large pockets at the back.
Detective Superintendent Lewis Raw who is heading the investigation said: "This is a shocking crime which has left Mr Garbutt distraught and the residents of Melsonby very shocked and saddened.  Police are determined to bring Mrs Garbutt's killer to justice, however, we need the assistance of members of the public who were in the area at the time to come forward."

Please help us bring her killer to justice by calling the dedicated incident room at North Yorkshire Police on 01904-669576. Or you can give information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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