Detectives believe a mystery phone call could hold the key to solving the brutal murder of a much-loved Sunderland grandad.
The body of David Wilson, who would have turned 50 last month, was found at his flat in Southwick Road, on Sunday, December 14.
Now, almost six months on from the killing, senior officers have released a three-minute recording of a phone call which was made from outside the Halfway House pub, just a few hundred yards from Mr Wilson’s Southwick home, just hours before the former special constable’s body was discovered.
The call made to police is made by a man who says a lift he had arranged had fallen through and he needed taking home to Gateshead.
A 34-year-old man remains on bail after being arrested on suspicion of the murder of Mr Wilson, who had moved from his home town of Hetton to Sunderland city centre seven years before his death. He had only lived in his flat in Southwick for a number of weeks before he was killed.
Making the latest appeal for information, Det Insp Mark Ord, of Northumbria Police’s homicide and major investigations team, said: “At 4.41am on the morning of December 14, police received a call from a male caller who tells us he is outside the Halfway House pub.
“That male asks to be taken home to an address in Gateshead, having said that the lift he had pre-arranged had failed to turn up.
“The person is almost 200 or 300 yards away from where David Wilson was murdered.” DI Ord also added that if the call jogs the memory of the person who was supposed to pick the man up from Sunderland to transport him home, could they also make themselves known to police.
Officers also want to identify a man wearing a red bobble hat who was seen carrying out a robbery on a person at an ATM in Southwick Green between 4.09am and 4.17am, which was shortly before the phone call outside the Halfway House pub was made.
“This is a complicated and challenging case and that’s why we need the public’s help,” he said.
“Without their help things become almost impossible.
“It’s for David and his family that we need to identify the person who is responsible for this brutal murder.”
Anyone with information on the murder should call Northumbria Police on the non-emergency 101 number or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.