Police searching for missing North Tyneside man James Prout have a found body.
James, 43, was reported missing at around 8am on Good Friday but had not been seen by friends or family since early February.
Police carried out a number of enquiries at his home address on St Stephen’s Way in Percy Main and it became apparent that James had likely been killed.
Officers launched a murder investigation two men and three women have been arrested on suspicionof murder.
Enquiries have carried on throughoutthe bank holiday weekend and at around 3.30pm this afternoon police locateda body in an area of open land a short distance from his home address.
Formal identification is yet to takeplace but officers believe it is that of James Prout.
His family have beeninformed and a post-mortem examination will now take place.
Northumbria Police Superintendent, Peter Bent, has emphasised this is an isolated incident and that there is norisk to the wider community.
He said: “We only became awarethat James was missing when we received a call on Good Friday which identifiedconcerns for his welfare.
“An investigation was immediatelylaunched and our enquiries established that he had not been seen by friendsor family for a number of weeks.
“Our officers have been speakingto a number of people and searches have been conducted on St Stephen’sWay and in the area surrounding it.
“As a result of those searchespolice have found a body a short distance from his home address. Formalidentification is yet to take place but we are fairly certain that it is James Prout.
“Five people are currently in custodyafter being arrested in connection with this incident.
“This was very much an isolatedincident between people who were known to each other and I want to reassurethe public that there is no risk to our local communities.
“I want to thank everyone the publicfor their help with our enquiries as intelligence from our local communitiesis vital to these types of investigations.
“Our enquiries into this incidentwill continue and if anyone has information that could be useful to policewe would still ask you to call us on 101.”
Two men, aged 26 and 42, and three women,aged 55, 49 and 25, remain in police custody.
If you have saw James in recent weeks,or have any information about his disappearance, then call officers on101 quoting reference 209 25/03/16 or independent charity Crimestopperson 0800 555 111.