Murder investigation continues after teacher found fatally stabbed at Sunderland home

The scene of a murder at  Kirkwall Close, Sunderland.
The scene of a murder at Kirkwall Close, Sunderland.
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Detectives are continuing the murder investigation launched after a mum was stabbed to death at a Sunderland home.

Julie Parkin, aged 39, from Kirkwall Close in Castletown, was found with fatal knife injuries at a house in Kirkwall Close at 12.10am on Monday.

The scene of a murder at  Kirkwall Close, Sunderland.

The scene of a murder at Kirkwall Close, Sunderland.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody.

Detective Inspector Ed Small said: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by the incredibly tragic death of Julie which we know many people will be shocked and saddened by.

“Our enquiries are continuing and a man remains in police custody.

“We will continue to have extra officers in the area to speak to local residents and offer reassurance.”

Officers leading the investigation say they believe it to be a “domestic incident” between people who know each other, while extra officers have been put on patrol to reassure residents.

A tent was put up in the front garden of the house as forensic officers gathered evidence. A letter given to children at West Boldon Primary to give to their parents, written by headteacher Mrs J Weightman, reads: “The school has experienced the sudden death of one of our teachers, Mrs Parkin.

“We are deeply saddened by her death.

“All of the staff are available to help your child cope with the tragedy.

“It is possible that your child may have some feelings he or she may like to discuss with you.

“You can help your child by taking some time to listen and encourage them to express their feelings.”

Mrs Parkin was a Year 3 and 4 teacher at West Boldon Primary School.

The school yesterday expressed shock and sadness at her sudden death, and parents were sent home with letters offering help and support to children emotionally affected by the incident.

People living in Kirkwall Close also spoke of their shock at the woman’s death.

A 40-year-old woman living just yards from the house where the woman was stabbed told the Echo: “I saw a young lad come out of the house and he was covered in blood and then there were three ambulances here in the street.

“The police couldn’t tell us anything when we came outside so we went back in.

“I can’t believe this has happened because this is such a nice area.

“You feel for her bairns and what they must be going through right now.”

A 59-year-old man, who also lives in the street, said: “Then there were loads of police cars in the street and paramedics too.

“That’s when I realised it was something very serious.

“There were officers taking things away in bags which looked like evidence.

The man added: “I don’t know the names of the couple who live in that house but they always look happy because you see them going for walks holding hands.”