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Police switch focus of West Rainton murder hunt to nearby village
DETECTIVES investigating the murder of a man whose body was found in a County Durham lane have moved the focus of their inquiry to another village.
The body of John Anthony Hall was found in West Rainton near Durham City on Sunday evening. He had died of multiple injuries after suffering a violent assault.
This morning it was announced that Northumbria Police were to lead the investigation and officers were now investigating potential crime scenes in the village of Shiney Row, around four miles away from the spot where the 46-year-old’s body was discovered.
Mr Hall was reported missing from his home in Burn Terrace, Shiney Row, on Monday.
Northumbria Police said officers had made enquiries with colleagues at Durham Constabulary and quickly established that the body found in West Rainton the previous evening was that of Mr Hall.
Five men aged between 48 and 32 years arrested on suspicion of murder remain in custody in the Durham area but will be moved to police stations within the Northumbria force.
FOUND DEAD: John Anthony Hall, whose body was found in Mark's Lane, West Rainton
Detective Chief Inspector Christina Barrett, of Northumbria Police, who is leading the enquiry, 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 enquiry.
"I would like to reiterate the earlier comments made by colleagues at Durham, that enquiries have led us to believe that Mr Hall was not the victim of a random attack.
"We are still appealing for anyone with information about Mr Hall's murder and his earlier disappearance from his home, to contact police straightaway."
Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, Sunderland Area Commander said: "Residents in the Shiney Row area will have seen areas cordoned off by police who have been making enquiries into this case.
“If any residents have concerns they wish to share with officers, or information about this case I would ask them to please speak with an officer."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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