Police have launched a murder investigation after a man's body was found in West Rainton.
The body was discovered by a dog walker at around 7pm on Sunday on Marks Lane near the railway bridge.
A post mortem is being carried out and the area remains cordoned off.
Investigators say they do not believe it was a random attack and there is no need for the public to be alarmed.
Anyone with information is asked to call the police on the 101 number.
More top news
Officers gathered for a minute silence out of respect for PC Harper, who died last week when attending reports of a burglary.
Sunderland Football Club is close to being taken over by a major American investment firm, ITV News understands.
The family of John "Johnny" Redhead have paid tribute to him after he was killed in a crash this week.