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Three arrested on suspicion of murder after body found in lane
11:00pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
POLICE have tonight arrested three men on suspicion of murder after a body was found in a country lane.
John Anthony Hall, 46, of Shiney Row, near Houghton-le-Spring, was found dead by a dog walker at about 7pm on Sunday evening in Mark's Lane, near a railway bridge in West Rainton, a few miles east of Durham City.
A post-mortem examination was being carried out this afternoon (Tuesday, September 17), in an effort to determine the cause of death.
Durham Police said tonight that three men from the Shiney Row area have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are being held at police stations across the county.
The man leading the investigation, Detective Superintendent Kevin Weir, said: "The area where the man was found remains cordoned off to allow for a full forensic examination and CID officers will be carrying out house to house enquiries in the West Rainton area over the next few days.
“At this time I do not believe this to be a random attack and there is no need for the public to be alarmed.
“An incident room has been set up and I have a team of detectives working hard to bring those responsible to justice."
Parish Council chairman Jeff Morland said: “The guy who is dead will have family and friends and your thoughts immediately go out to them.
“This is usually a quiet little village, although sadly this is not the first time it has happened in that area, Mark’s Lane.
“I just hope that the police catch the culprits.”
Police are asking anyone with information to call them on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
In March 2003 the unconscious body of villager George Button, a 52-year-old council electrician, was found in Mark's Lane.
He had been bludgeoned while out walking his dog and he died of his injuries in hospital two days later.
Subsequently, his wife Christina and her nephew Simon Tannahill , who was aged 20 at the time, were jailed for life after being convicted of Mr Button’s murder.
The court heard that the pair plotted to kill him so Mrs Button could claim a six-figure life insurance payout.
*An inquest into the death of former solicitor Peter Maine, 56, of Wynyard, near Stockton, who was found dead on a Durham City footpath on September 1, will open at Crook Civic Centre on Thursday (September 19).
Police are conducting a murder-style investigation.