The detective leading the manhunt also said he was keeping an “open mind” on the possibility that her killing may be linked to a spate of thefts, breaks-ins and bogus callers throughout the Tayside area in recent weeks.
Detective Chief Inspector Colin Gall said a postmortem examination had shown Mrs Methven, 80, who was known as Jenny, had died as a result of injuries to her head and body.
Mrs Methven, a former president of the local branch of the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute, was found dead by her son David on Monday evening at her secluded cottage at Kildinny Farm on the outskirts of the Perthshire village of Forteviot.
Her son, who runs a landscape gardening and joinery firm from the cottage he shared with Mrs Methven, last night paid tribute to his “wonderful mother”.
He said: “I am absolutely devastated at the death of my mother. As well as being a wonderful mother, she was an extremely generous person – someone who was a true friend to others and always willing to give her energies and time freely.
‘‘I miss her desperately and would appeal to anyone who can assist Tayside Police with their inquiries to get in touch with them.”
He added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank local residents and others who have expressed their sympathies and sorrow at what has happened. Their kind words do offer some comfort and I am grateful for that.”
DCI Gall said the force was treating Mrs Methven’s death as murder. He said officers will study video footage, taken from both private and business sources across the Strathearn Valley, as they try to piece together Mrs Methven’s final movements and that he had an “open mind” on whether her death may be linked to a string of crimes targeting elderly people in Tayside.
“We are acutely aware of these other crimes and the concerns that the communities have with regard to them. It is for the inquiry team to establish whether any connection exists, but our initial inquiries have not revealed any signs of a forced entry or property being stolen from the cottage,” he said.
“Nevertheless it is vital that we keep an open mind and resist ruling anything in or out of our inquiries.’’