John Coates tower block victim 'bludgeoned' to death

John Coates
Image caption Police believe Mr Coates was killed with a "blunt weapon"

A man found dead in his Thorntree flat a week ago was killed with a "blunt weapon", police have confirmed.

The body of John Coates was found in Fleet House, Cargo Fleet Lane, on 13 September, after worried family reported not having seen him for days.

Cleveland Police said the 61-year-old, who lived alone, died of head injuries inflicted with a "blunt weapon".

Officers want to speak to anyone who saw shop worker Mr Coates in the days before his death.

'Private man'

Det Supt Peter McPhillips described the victim as a "private man" but one who had lots of interests.

He said: "Mr Coates had a sister and four brothers who are receiving support from specially-trained family liaison officers.

"He was a keen gardener who tended a nearby allotment. He was also a member of a local gym and had taken on a cookery course.

"He was a private man and it is believed he had not been married and did not have a partner or any children."

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