Michael Lawson murder: Driver may have seen Darlington stabbing

Michael Lawson Image copyright Durham Police
Image caption Mr Lawson died in hospital shortly after the attack

A passing motorist may have unwittingly witnessed the murder of man in Darlington, police have said.

Michael Lawson, 34, was found in Geneva Street in the early hours of Saturday, having been stabbed in the heart.

Police have issued a CCTV image of a white saloon car that was driven past the scene as Mr Lawson was being attacked.

A 32-year-old local man remains in custody after being arrested on suspicion of murder.

Another man who was also arrested, has been released without charge and faces no further action.

Mr Lawson, who lived Appleby Close, Darlington, was taken to the town's Memorial Hospital, but died shortly afterwards.

His family said the attack had resulted in a "needless, tragic loss".

Image copyright Durham Police
Image caption Police say the occupants of the car may not have realised Mr Lawson was being attacked

In a statement released by Durham Police, they said: "Michael was an inspiration to us all, so full of life while caring for others.

"He was a son, grandson and dad who touched the hearts of all who knew him.

"We cannot put into words the pain we are feeling from this needless, tragic loss."

A police spokesman said the driver appeared to slow down as he passed the scene "which suggests he saw something".

"At the time, it may have looked like a scuffle, but we now know this was the moment Michael was stabbed," he added.

"If you are the driver or recognise this white vehicle, we would urge you to please get in touch."

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