A £5,000 reward’s been put up to help catch three men who conned their way into the home of a Wolverhampton pensioner – who later died.
Retired headmistress Estelle Mottershead, who is thought to have suffered a stroke, died in hospital on Saturday, a day after the men ransacked her home in Tettenhall.
Every room in the pensioner’s substantial detached home, named Lawnside, was searched for valuables by three men who pretended to be water board workers to get in.
Although the 90-year-old is not thought to have been physically assaulted during the burglary, the investigation into her death is being treated as a murder inquiry.
Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Marsh, who is leading the inquiry, said:
“This is a tragic and very upsetting case for all those who knew Hester, as well as the wider Tettenhall community. Our investigation is still in the early stages, and we are keen to hear from anyone in the area who can help us piece together the events leading up to, and following, the burglary and Hester’s death.”
Ms Mottershead, who lived alone in Saxonfields, Tettenhall, was a former headteacher at both Bilston Girls’ High School and Wolverhampton Girls’ High School. The pensioner is known to have telephoned police at 2.32pm on Friday to give officers descriptions of the offenders and an account of what happened despite the stress of what happened.
She became unwell after police arrived and was taken to hospital after being treated at the scene by ambulance crews and a doctor who lives nearby. A post-mortem examination has been conducted, but the results were inconclusive and further tests are due to be conducted to determine the exact cause of Ms Mottershead’s death.
The offenders are described as three men in their late teens to early 20s, all wearing blue clothing which were possibly work overalls.
Anyone with information about the offence is urged to contact Wolverhampton Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, who are offering the reward.