Birmingham & Black Country

£5,000 reward offered to find Callum Lees murder suspect

James Atherley Image copyright Crimestoppers
Image caption Crimestoppers has offered a reward of £5,000 for information about James Atherley's whereabouts

A reward of £5,000 has been offered for information on the whereabouts of a key suspect wanted in connection of the murder of 20-year-old Callum Lees.

Key suspect James Atherley, 21, is believed to no longer be in the West Midlands after the fatal stabbing in Solihull on 6 August.

Police believe Mr Atherley may have connections in Weston-super-Mare.

Mr Lees was "left to die in the street" after he was stabbed in the neck following a row at a flat, police said.

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He was found collapsed on Haselour Road by a passer-by after being stabbed at a house party on Hopwas Grove, in Kingshurst.

He died in hospital from his injuries later the same day.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Callum Lees was found collapsed in a street

Mr Atherley, formerly of Wells Road, in Solihull, is believed to have left the West Midlands.

Three men aged 21, 20 and 18 were arrested in connection with the stabbing and have been released on bail.

Pauline Hadley, from Crimestoppers, said: "Someone who saw this stabbing take place is likely to know James Atherley personally and we understand passing on his details to us is a tough decision to make.

"If you know where he is, please pick up the phone or visit our website, safe in the knowledge he'll never know you spoke to us."

Image caption Tributes have been left to Mr Lees, described by his family as a "genuine, loving, caring person".

Det Insp Jim Munro, from West Midlands Police, said: "Our inquiries lead us to believe that James Atherley is no longer in the West Midlands and may have links to Weston-Super-Mare."

In a statement, Mr Lees' family urged anyone with information about Mr Atherley's whereabouts to "please do the right thing and come forward".

"We need some sense of closure. Please allow us to bury our boy," they said.

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