Missing Sunderland grandad murder probe latest: Police release arrested man

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Police investigating the disappearance of a grandad missing from home for almost four weeks have released a man from custody.

Officers continued their appeal for witnesses today on what is the 57th birthday of missing man Robert Hutchinson.

Mr Hutchinson was last seen on Monday, June 23, in Hendon, and was reported missing on Thursday, June 26, after his family had not heard from him.

Yesterday, three men were arrested in connection with his disappearance - one on suspicion of murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Musgrove, of Northumbria Police Major Crime Team, said: “Today is Robert’s 57th birthday, and our thoughts are with his family at what is an exceptionally difficult time for them. They need answers as to what has happened.

“Our enquiries to find Robert are on-going, we are searching a number of areas and carrying out a number of enquiries. We believe there will be members of the community who have information and we need those people to come forward and speak to us. I would like to reiterate that we will treat information in the strictest of confidence.”

Robert was last seen on CCTV at Asda petrol station in Leechmere at 4.40pm filling his car - a blue Nissan Micra registration number LT03 0ZJ. His car has since been located.

DCI Musgrove said: “We would ask those who know what has happened to think how they would feel if this was one of their family members. No matter how small the information is it could prove to be fundamental in our enquiries.”

Anyone with information should call Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 410 260614 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A 59-year-old man has been released with no further action.