Three police forces are hunting a serial sex attacker in connection with the murder of a pensioner battered to death in her own home.
Northumbria, Cleveland and Durham forces are now involved in the hunt for Graeme Jarman, who went missing from his home shortly before 77-year-old Judith Richardson was found dead in Hexham, Northumberland, on August 19.
Detectives said the 47-year-old was considered a danger to the public and was a suspect in the murder investigation.
His details have been circulated nationwide as he has links with the south of England.
Jarman has not been seen at his home in the Delves Lane area of Consett since August 17.
Durham Constabulary circulated him as missing after he failed to appear in court on a shoplifting charge on August 23.
He was seen in Stockton-on-Tees on Friday, which is when Cleveland Police joined the manhunt.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman confirmed Jarman is a registered sex offender with a previous history of violence.
Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson, head of crime at Northumbria Police, said: "We need to find this man without delay.
"We advise people not to approach him but anyone who sees him or believes they know where he is should contact us immediately."
Detective Chief Superintendent Jane Spraggon, head of crime at Durham Constabulary, said: "Jarman is one of our dangerous offenders who poses a significant risk to the public. We are working closely with Northumbria to find him."
Jarman was described as heavily built, of average height, clean shaven, with short dark hair.
A CCTV image released yesterday showed Jarman in Stockton-on-Tees town centre on Friday morning with a shaved head and wearing blue jeans, a light blue polo shirt with dark cuffs and collar and carrying a dark jacket.
Miss Richardson's body was discovered by police in the hallway of her stone-built terraced home, in St Wilfrid's Road, after her stolen handbag and some of its contents were found stuffed into a litter bin in Newcastle city centre, 25 miles away.
The leather handbag was found by a member of the public in a bin outside a charity shop in Clayton Street.
Police, believing they were dealing with a simple lost property or theft case, were confronted by Miss Richardson's battered body on the Friday evening.
A post-mortem examination showed she died from head injuries.
Police found a hammer in a plastic bag in the street near her home and have confirmed that was the murder weapon.
Anyone with information should ring 0191 375 2176 or 03456 043 043.
Source: PAReuse content