Tyne & Wear

John Hall murder investigation: Police move inquiry focus

John Hall
Image caption The police do not believe John Hall was the victim of a random attack

Detectives investigating the murder of a man found in a County Durham village are now focusing their inquiries on the area where he lived.

The body of John Hall, 46, of Shiney Row, Sunderland, was found in West Rainton on Sunday night.

Northumbria Police, who are now leading the investigation, said he was reported missing on Monday after which it was established the body was his.

Five men who were arrested on suspicion of murder remain in custody.

Durham Police started the investigation and was working with the Northumbria force.

'It is unusual'

The handover to Northumbria Police was the result of new information coming to light, police said.

Image caption Although the body was found in West Rainton, Durham Police are no longer leading the inquiry

Northumbria Police said officers were investigating potential crime scenes in the Shiney Row area.

Areas have been cordoned off and extra officers have been on patrol to reassure people.

Det Ch Insp Christina Barrett, of Northumbria Police, said: "Although it is unusual for a murder investigation to be transferred from one force to another, it has become clear that the majority of the investigation will continue within Northumbria's boundaries and therefore a decision was made for Northumbria Police to be given ownership of the inquiry.

"I would like to reiterate the earlier comments made by colleagues at Durham, that inquiries have led us to believe that Mr Hall was not the victim of a random attack."

The five arrested men, aged 32 to 38, are to be moved to police stations in the Northumbria force's area.

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