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Suspect named after two murders

Police are hunting a 35-year-old man in connection with "two brutal murders".

More than 100 officers are involved in the search for James Allen following the deaths of Colin Dunford in Middlesbrough on Monday and Julie Davison in Whitby, North Yorkshire, on Wednesday.

Allen is known to police and members of the public are urged not to approach him but dial 999.

Detectives have described the killings as "two brutal murders in the victims' own homes". Cleveland Police and North Yorkshire Police issued a joint appeal to find Allen after officers linked the two murders.

Earlier, detectives in Whitby said Ms Davison, 50, was found dead by her sister at her flat in Church Square. She had suffered serious head injuries.

Mr Dunford, 81, was found dead at his home in Leven Street, Middlesbrough, on Monday. A post-mortem examination showed he had also suffered serious head injuries as a result of a significant assault.

Temporary Detective Chief Superintendent Gordon Lang, head of crime operations for Cleveland Police, said: "We now believe the Middlesbrough murder is linked to the murder that took place in Whitby yesterday.

"Two brutal murders in the victims' own homes. Anyone who can carry out such callous acts needs to be caught as a matter of urgency.

"We have over 100 officers working on the incident to trace Allen and we are focusing our efforts in Cleveland and in the Whitby area of North Yorkshire. Anyone who sees him or who knows where he is, we would ask them to contact 999 immediately."

Allen is described as 5ft 7in, with a bald head and tattoos on both arms.

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