Missing North Tyneside man James Prout is believed to have been murdered, although his body has not been found.
At around 8am on Friday (March 25), Northumbria Police officers received a report which led to concern for the well-being of 43-year-old 'Jimmy'. They attended his home address on St Stephen's Way in Percy Main but he has not been seen by friends or family since early February.
Police have been carrying out an investigation into the circumstances around James' disappearance and now believe he has been murdered.
Officers are appealing for help from the public in piecing together James' last known movements and want to hear from anyone who may have seen or spoken to him in recent weeks.
Two men, aged 26 and 42, and three women, aged 55, 49 and 25, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are in police custody at this time.
James' ex-partner Anne Corbett, 25, was also reported missing on Friday morning. She has now been found safe and well.
Superintendent Peter Bent, of Northern Area Command, said he wanted to reassure local communities that there was not believed to be any danger to the wider public.
He said: "We received a call on Friday morning that gave us a number of concerns about Jimmy's welfare and following a number of inquiries we now believe he has been murdered.
"Our officers have not yet found a body but the last known sighting of Jimmy is the beginning of February so we really need help from the public to piece together his last known movements.
"We have a number of people in custody and all those involved in this case were known to each other. There is not believed to be any risk to the wider public in our local communities.
"There will be extra patrols in Percy Main throughout the bank holiday weekend to carry out inquiries and to reassure any concerned members of the public.
"Anyone who might help us establish the circumstances surrounding Jimmy's disappearance should call police. Any information, no matter how small, could be vital to helping our investigation."
Jimmy is described as white, of slim build, around 5ft9in tall, with very short brown hair and some facial hair. His clothing is unknown at this moment in time.
There will be additional officers in the area of St Stephen's Way throughout the weekend to carry out further inquiries to try to establish his last known movements.
If you have seen them, or have any information that may help police with their investigation, then call officers on 101 quoting reference 209 25/03/16 or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.