DETECTIVES investigating the murder of a Coventry father-of-three have today (Thurs 5 May) identified two key suspects theyâ€™re hunting in connection with his death.
Darren Dalton (31) and 36-year-old Joseph Bourne are wanted in connection with the fatal stabbing of Harold Barnes in Wood End, Coventry, on April 20.
The 48-year-old made an emergency 999 call just before midnight from outside an address in Hillmorton Road having suffered a stab wound to the chest. He later died in hospital.
West Midlands Police Detective Chief Inspector Steven Reed is leading the enquiry and believes the two suspects â€“ who are from the local area â€“ are being harboured by associates in the city.
He said: â€œWe have a dedicated team of police officers working around the clock in a bid to apprehend Mr Barnesâ€™ killers. They have already made several arrests in connection with the incident and searched more than 70 premises across Coventry.
â€œAll the evidence points to these two suspects still being in the local area and lying low with the help of associates.
â€œAnyone found assisting suspects and perverting the course of justice can expect to receive lengthy prison sentences themselves.
â€œIâ€™m confident it will only be a matter of time before we catch these two men. The longer they stay on the run the less favourably the judicial system will later view their casesâ€¦Iâ€™d urge them to contact police now whilst they still have the chance.â€
Local Coventry officers have conducted additional patrols in the area to reassure members of the public since the incident.
The family of Harold Barnes issued a tribute following his death describing him as a â€œfun, much-loved brother, father and grandfather who will be sadly missed by all his family and friendsâ€.
DCI Reed added the stabbing was an isolated incident and that officers understand Mr Barnes knew the suspects.
â€œThis was not a random attack,â€ he said. â€œWe believe there was some sort of motive connected to the stabbingâ€¦there is nothing to suggest these suspects pose any direct risk to members of the wider community.
â€œIf anyone believes they have seen either man, or may know where they are, Iâ€™d urge them to contact us immediately.
â€œIâ€™m sure there are people in the local community who can help us track down these individuals â€“ and anyone who may feel apprehensive about coming forward can rest assured that information passed to us is handled with the strictest of confidence.
â€œThey have the option to call anonymously via Crimestoppers, whilst there are other measures we can take to protect peopleâ€™s identity.â€
Any witnesses, or anyone with information, should call Force CID at Chase Avenue on 0345 113 5000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.