Gunner was sitting patiently in the backseat of the 2013 Chevy truck, awaiting his owner's return, when a carjacker jumped into the driver's seat and took off, unaware there was a large, grey dog in the back.

Locals confirmed regular rumours of men living in woods near to the village.

Gamekeeper Emma Drewett said: ‘There was a chap that we were aware of who was living in the woods but that was a couple of years ago.

He lived in a green tent but when we went up there it looked like it had been abandoned.

If we had been aware there was another man living in the woods he would have been cleared off.’The £2million house and gardens, where Mrs Choules had lived for more than 25 years, is owned by the family of Lord Carrington.

The single track road was eventually re-opened to traffic in the afternoon, but another narrow lane leading off to Mrs Choules' remote cottage was by Wednesday night still sealed off and under police surveillance as forensics examiners combed the area for clues.

Deputy Commander for High Wycombe Local Policing Area, Chief Inspector Rebecca Mears said: 'Members of the public will see an increased police presence in the area and a number of roads have been closed while we conduct our inquiries.One said: 'I left for the school run this morning and there was a fire engine and a police car blocking the road.I went down to Marlow Bottom and by the time I got back from the school run, there were lots of police cars, and ambulance and a black car.He is the last surviving member of Churchill’s government and father of the House of Lords. She had the most beautiful garden over there in the wood.His son Rupert, who owns Mrs Choules’s home, said he was absolutely devastated. It was her great love and I can’t take any credit for it.He added: ‘It is the most tragic, awful thing to have happened. I only saw her last week and she was her normal self. We sat in the garden and had a chat.‘It was almost like a Hansel and Gretel cottage. We did sometimes worry because she lived alone and the cottage is a long way away from anyone else.