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Man's Middlesbrough flat death is suspicious, say police
MAN found dead in his flat after not being seen for four days had suffered head injuries, police said yesterday.
John Coates was discovered by a family member after his employer raised the alarm last Thursday.
A post-mortem examination on Monday resulted in the death being ruled as suspicious by detectives.
The 61-year-old, who had never married and had no children, was described as an extremely private man who lived alone in a flat in Fleet House, Cargo Fleet Lane, Middlesbrough.
Last night, forensic officers searched a bin area at the tower block looking for evidence, while officers are studying security camera footage to try to establish the final movements of the shop worker.
Detective Superintendent Peter McPhillips, the head of Cleveland Police’s murder investigation team, said: “He had suffered significant head injuries which contributed to his death. We are trying to piece together who his friends were and what his lifestyle was like. He had no known enemies, but we want to speak to anyone who may be able to help us work out his last movements.”
Mr Coates was last seen on the afternoon of Sunday, September 9, when he had been working on his allotment.
Four days later, the alarm was raised when he failed to turn up for work.
Det Supt McPhillips said: “He had a sister and four brothers who are receiving support from specially trained family liaison officers while detectives continue their inquiries.
“It is too early to say whether there are any suspects or any motive for his injuries, but we are studying CCTV footage in an attempt to try and retrace his steps. We know he was a keen gardener who tended to his allotment.
He was a member of a gym and had taken a cookery course.
“We want to speak to people he may have known from the gym or the allotments, but we know he was quite a private man and I would like to appeal to anyone who knew him to get in touch.”
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 01642- 303232 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555-111.