Family pay tribute to ‘much-loved father and grandfather’ Ross Connelly as police launch murder probe in Wheatley Hill

Durham Constabulary have confirmed they have launched a murder investigation following the death of a man in Wheatley Hill earlier this week.

At 7.56am on Monday, May 1, officers were called to a property in Alexandra Terrace, Wheatley Hill following the discovery of a man’s body. Formal identification has since taken place and the man has now been identified as 46-year-old Ross Connelly, who was born in Shotton Colliery.

In a statement released today, his family said: “We are devastated by the loss of Ross, who was a much-loved father and grandfather.

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“He will be remembered as a man who loved his football, music, and had a wicked sense of humour. We request privacy at this time to allow us space to grieve.”

Two men, aged 19 and 40, and an 18-year-old woman have been arrested in connection with the incident and remain in police custody. A 34-year-old man was also arrested in connection with the incident and has since been released on bail.

Detective Chief Inspector Yvonne Dutson, from Durham Constabulary, is leading the investigation. She said: “This is a tragic incident in which a man has died after being attacked in his own home.

“We are currently providing his family with specialist support and our thoughts remain with them during this difficult time.”

She added: “This was an isolated incident, and we believe those involved are all known to each other.

“A dedicated team of detectives from our Major Crime Team are working around the clock to establish exactly what has happened and to bring those responsible to justice.

“Members of the public can expect to see a continued police presence within the Wheatley Hill and Shotton areas while we carry out further enquiries.

“If you have any information that could assist our investigation, or have any CCTV or dashcam footage from the area surrounding the incident, please speak to an officer at the scene or call us on 101.

“If you would prefer to remain anonymous, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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