Tyne & Wear

Winlaton murder: John Roberts was child abduction suspect

John Roberts
Image caption John Roberts was last seen on 13 December

A man found dead in his home had appeared in court charged with the abduction of a 14-year-girl.

The body of John Roberts was discovered in Gateshead on Sunday, Northumbria Police said.

Detectives said the 32-year-old, of Park Terrace, Winlaton, was well known in the area due to his "long hair and beard". He died of head injuries.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said it was "keeping an open mind" about the motive for his murder.

Det Ch Insp Christina Barrett said the last confirmed sighting of Mr Roberts had been on Thursday, the same day it has been reported that he appeared in court.

"We need to trace his whereabouts since that day," Det Ch Insp Barrett said.

"We are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen Mr Roberts or spoken to him since Thursday, or anyone with any information that could help us track his movements since he was last seen."

Police found the body at 18:16 GMT.

A post-mortem examination has taken place and officers are carrying out door-to-door inquiries in Winlaton.

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