Detectives investigating the suspicious death of former solicitor Peter Maine are following new leads - thanks to calls from members of the public.
Mr Maine, 56, was found on a footpath opposite the running track at Maiden Castle sports centre, on the outskirts of Durham city, at around 8am on Sunday. He had suffered three stab wounds.
They are now building up a picture of his last 24 hours and are talking to friends and associates.
The day before his death Mr Maine was discussing the future in a telephone call to Stuart Edwards - a friend of 30 years.
Mr Maine had been working on converting his former offices in Old Elvet, Durham, to student accommodation and was looking forward to getting the job finished for the influx of September students.
Now friends have paid tribute to the conveyancing solicitor, who was well known in the estate agency world of County Durham.
Mr Edwards, of Stuart Edward Estate Agents, based in Claypath, Durham, said: “I had known Peter for over 30 years.
“Up until 2011 when he closed his business we would speak to each other virtually every day. We were both early risers so would speak to each other around 8am to discuss jobs we had on.
“I feel so sorry for his family. In fact he rang me on the Saturday before this happened.
“We talked about holidays and family but he said he wasn’t going on holiday because he was converting his former offices into student accommodation and was finishing them for the students coming in September.”
Mr Maine, who was being investigated in connection with what is alleged to have been the UK’s biggest mortgage fraud, had parked his Range Rover, carried furniture into his converted flats before starting a run.
Father-of-two Mr Maine, who lived at Wynyard, near Stockton, was part of a long-running and complex probe over alleged £170m “sale and rent back” scam involving Gateshead firms North East Property Buyers and Newcastle Home Loans.
A professional tribunal Mr Maine was also facing - into his conduct as a lawyer - has been stopped following his death.
Det Chief Insp Steve Chapman said there had been a good response to the release on Wednesday of CCTV footage showing Mr Maine setting out on his run.
“I am encouraged by the response we have had from people coming forward with information. We are working on a number of lines of enquiry, which include building up a picture of Peter’s lifestyle, his friends and associates and his movements in the 24 hours leading up to his death.”
Anyone with information should ring 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.