Police say identification of human remains found after Tunstall Village Green fire ‘could take a considerable amount of time’ as man arrested on suspicion of murder is released

The Sunderland community could hold the key to the mystery of human remains found at a home in the city, detectives have said.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 11:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 4:12 pm

Police are appealing for information as a murder investigation continues following the discovery of body after a fire at Tunstall Village Green.

Human remains were discovered under substantial and dense rubble following the blaze, which took place inside the garage of a property, on Tuesday, February 18.

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An investigation is continuing at Tunstall Village Green on Tuesday.

A 38-year-old man arrested on Sunday, February 23 in connection with the investigation has since been released under investigation.

Inquiries are continuing at the scene on Tuesday, February 25 as officers map out a timeline of what happened before the fire.

Detective Inspector Graeme Dodds, the senior investigating officer, has asked anybody from the local community who thinks they can help with the investigation to come forward.

He said: “First and foremost, this is an absolutely tragic incident and specialist family liaison officers continue to offer the suspected victim’s family support at this devastating time.

Police at Tunstall Village Green in Sunderland.

“A huge amount of specialist fire and forensic investigation is ongoing at the scene and that will take a considerable amount of time to complete, before any identification process can be carried out

“Extensive inquiries have been carried out by an experienced team of detectives since the fire.

“We have already interviewed one man in connection with the incident, but remain open-minded and officers with support from specialist fire crews will remain in the area to carry out enquiries.

“I’m now asking anybody in the community who saw anything suspicious on the day of the fire, or who has received any information whatsoever regarding the incident, to come forward.

The community is being urged to come forward with any information.

“That could prove the key to ensuring swift and robust action is taken against anybody found to be responsible.”

One woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I’m shaking, it’s really shocked me. The fire was bad enough.”

*Call 101 quoting reference 375 230220 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Contact Northumbria Police on 101 if you have any information.