North Tyneside murder latest: Police find a body

James Prout
James Prout

Police searching for missing North Tyneside man James Prout have a found body.

James, 43, was reported missing at around 8am on Good Friday but had not been seen by friends or family since early February.

Police carried out a number of inquiries at his home address on St Stephen's Way in Percy Main and it became apparent that James had likely been killed.

Officers launched a murder investigation and five people - two men and three women - have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Enquiries have carried on throughout the bank holiday weekend and at around 3.30pm today, police located a body in an area of open land a short distance from his home address.

Formal identification is yet to take place but officers believe it is that of James Prout. His family have been informed and a post-mortem examination will now take place.

Northumbria Police Superintendent Peter Bent has emphasised this is an isolated incident and that there is no risk to the wider community.

He said: "We only became aware that James was missing when we received a call on Good Friday, which identified concerns for his welfare.

"An investigation was immediately launched and our inquiries established that he had not been seen by friends or family for a number of weeks.

"Our officers have been speaking to a number of people and searches have been conducted on St Stephen's Way and in the area surrounding it.

"As a result of those searches, police have found a body a short distance from his home address. Formal identification is yet to take place but we are fairly certain that it is James Prout.

"Five people are currently in custody after being arrested in connection with this incident.

"This was very much an isolated incident between people who were known to each other and I want to reassure the public that there is no risk to our local communities.

"I want to thank everyone the public for their help with our inquiries as intelligence from our local communities is vital to these types of investigations.

"Our inquiries into this incident will continue and if anyone has information that could be useful to police we would still ask you to call us on 101."

Two men, aged 26 and 42, and three women, aged 55, 49 and 25, remain in police custody.

If you have saw James in recent weeks, or have any information about his disappearance, then call officers on 101 quoting reference 209 25/03/16 or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.