An 82-year-old woman described her attackers to police hours before she died, sparking a murder investigation.
Joy Middleditch told officers masked men burst into her home, knocked her to the ground and then stole her handbag before leaving her on the floor until she was found by relatives the following day.
On Wednesday, the property was still sealed off from the street by blue and white police tape and an officer in a white forensic suit was working inside the home.
A uniformed officer stood outside beside a marked car, and floral tributes had piled up on the lawn, with one card addressed “To the family of Joy” and another saying “From someone who cares X”.
Sarsfield Donohue, Acting Superintendent (East Area) for Suffolk Police, said the only description of the suspects is from Ms Middleditch herself.
He said it is thought she was attacked between the evening of Friday 24 March and the early hours of Saturday 25 March.
Officers were called to her home in Grayson Avenue at around 2pm on Saturday after family members found her lying on the floor, Mr Donohue said.
He said she was found “conscious and breathing” but was in a “serious condition” and was taken to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk.
She died there in the early hours of Monday.
‘Two masked males forced entry into her home’
Mr Donohue said a post-mortem examination was carried out on Monday “but the exact cause of death is yet to be ascertained so that’s pending further tests”.
“When we initially spoke to her at the scene, prior to her being taken off to hospital, it was reported that she heard a noise at the door,” said the officer.
“At which point when she went to investigate, what she described as two masked males have forced entry into her home.
“She’s been knocked to the ground
“At some point during this incident a handbag has been stolen from the premises and then she was left at the premises until she was found by her family the following day.”
He said the handbag that was stolen was recovered “a short distance away in Nelson Road”.
Mr Donohue said the incident was a “really cowardly and callous attack on what was an elderly and vulnerable female in their own home”.
In a statement, her family said: “Joy was a strong, determined character who loved life and her dog.
“She was a loving person who was sadly taken from us too soon.
“We as a family would like to thank the police and the community for all their help and support.”