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Riverside search continues following stabbing death of former solicitor
5:20pm Friday 6th September 2013 in News
SPECIALIST search teams are today (Friday, September 6) continuing to comb a riverside footpath where a solicitor was found with fatal stab wounds.
Peter Maine, 56, of Wynyard, near Stockton, was found opposite the running track at Maiden Castle sports centre, on the outskirts of Durham City just after 8am last Sunday (September 1). He had three chest wounds.
Police continue to treat his death as suspicious and unexplained but are keeping an open mind about how he received his injuries.
Mr Maine, a father-of-two, whose offices used to be in Old Elvet, Durham, had been due to appear in court in Darlington on Tuesday (September 10) on charges relating to a multi-million pound mortgage fraud.
Since last Sunday up to 30 officers at any one time have been combing the fields and undergrowth up to 50 metres from where Mr Maine was discovered by a passing cyclist.
Officers from Northumbria Police’s marine unit have also made several trawls of the River Wear in the area, and a County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue crew has used a specialist underwater camera to check the riverbed. The searches will continue through the weekend.
The man leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chapman, said his officers were following up numerous potential leads and had traced a number of people who had been in the area last weekend.
“We have traced or been contacted directly by around two dozen people, a mixture mainly of campers, cyclists, dog walkers and joggers," he said.
“Their accounts are proving very useful as we try to establish exactly what happened to Peter in the 20 minutes from when he set out running to the time he was found.
“His family and friends describe him as a popular man who loved his music and was a regular at his local gym, as well as being a keen runner.
“If there is anyone else who was in Durham city on Sunday morning, especially anyone who was in the riverside area between Baths Bridge and Maiden Castle, I would urge them to come forward.”
Mr Maine’s family have released a new photograph of him at a friend’s wedding last year.
Anyone with information should call the incident room on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.