A DISTANT relative of tragic Edinburgh mum Valerie Rockall has been tracked down by detectives investigating her gruesome murder.
It is thought she was beaten to death by her son after a rowing about his suspected online gambling debts.
Rockall, 43, is then thought to have hanged himself.
Officers have struggled to trace any relatives of the pair, but have now tracked down a distant cousin of Mrs Rockall’s parents in Essex who has not seen her for over 70 years.
Police believe the Rockalls lived in Leigh, Essex, until around 1994 before moving to Edinburgh.
Door-to-door enquiries are currently being conducted in the English town.
Police trace relatives
A police spokeswoman said: “We would like to trace relatives of Mrs Rockall and her son as there are family links to Essex and we hope this appeal might help us find them.
“The last sighting we have of Mrs Rockall and her son was July 6. We are keen to hear from anyone who has seen them or had any contact with them after that date.”
Police are also trying to trace relatives in Exmouth, Devon, where the Rockalls are also believed to have family links.
Post-mortem examinations on both Mrs Rockall and her son were carried out last week in an attempt to establish when the pair died.
Investigators are probing the theory that Mr Rockall ran up huge gambling debts and then had an argument with his mother over money.
Forensic technology experts have been brought in to examine Mr Rockall’s computer in a bid to trace his online history.
Fiscal to decide way ahead
A specialist forensic team has carried out a detailed examination of Mrs Rockall’s flat and their tests are expected to take several more days to complete.
The procurator fiscal will then decide whether to declare the case closed, ask police to re-investigate or launch a fatal accident inquiry.
The bodies of the tragic mother and son will not be released to any family until after the procurator fiscal has made a determination.
Mr Rockall had previously been a witness in the 2005 murder trial of Louise Tiffney, who lived upstairs from him.
He had told the court he had heard running around on the floor above him and a scream.
Accused Sean Flynn had denied murdering his mother, whose body was never found, and a verdict of not proven was returned.