DNA Evidence In Gateshead Murder Probe

11 March 2013, 10:02

Police have revealed they've found DNA evidence from the scene of a murder in Winlaton in December last year.

On February 28th officers arrested two men, aged 27 and 21, a male aged 17 and a female aged 16, on suspicion of murder and a 15-year-old girl on suspicion of perverting the course of justice - in connection with the death of John Roberts.

They have all since been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Although arrests have been made in connection with Mr Roberts' death, detectives are still keen to trace anyone who has visited his home at 11 Park Terrace, Winlaton.

Officers have recovered DNA evidence of both male and females from forensic enquiries carried out at the crime scene and are appealing for anyone who may have been at the address innocently to come forward so they can be eliminated from enquiries.

Detective Superintendent Roger Ford said:
"The DNA that we found inside John's house, the crime scene, has come back from forensic testing and we now know that it's both male and female.

What this means is we now have scientific evidence linking people to the crime scene as we know whoever this DNA belongs to has visited John's house in Winlaton at some point.

The focus of the appeal remains catching John's killer, or killers, and we're now appealing for anyone who may have visited John's house, 11 Park Terrace, to contact us and eliminate themselves from our enquiries.

These enquiries are ongoing and we have began gathering DNA from people who we know or believe are connected to John or who may have been to his house at some stage. "My message to anyone who has been inside John's house before his death and hasn't been in touch with us since the investigation began is to get in touch with us before we contact you.

The process of obtaining DNA is a simple one and is done through a mouth swab. This process enables us to eliminate people from our enquiries easily, and I would ask for the communities' cooperation.

I can reassure anyone who is concerned about providing a sample, that it will be destroyed once eliminated from our enquiries.

Five people have been arrested in connection with the investigation but enquiries are very much ongoing and we still want to speak to anyone that thinks they may have information that could help us.

If anyone was thinking about passing information onto police and hasn't done so yet then I want to reiterate that we are working with Crimestoppers and are offering a cash reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest and charge.

If people ring through Crimestoppers they can pass information on completely anonymously. They don't have to give a name or address or personal details, just the information. This is then passed to police by Crimestoppers and people who give information anonymously can still receive rewards."

Anyone who wishes to speak to police or pass any information on is asked to contact the major crime team on 101 ext 69191 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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