THE family of Mark Denton has spoken of their devastation at his murder.
Cleveland Police released a statement on behalf of the Dentons who were too distraught to speak.
It read: “We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken to have lost Mark and in such a tragic way.
“He was a loving uncle, brother, son and boyfriend and he will be sadly missed by everyone.
“Our hearts will never heal from the loss of Mark.
“He was a larger than life character and our loss is immeasurable.
“We now ask for privacy to be allowed to deal with our grief.”
Detective Chief Inspector Anne-Marie Salwey, who is leading the investigation, said her condolences went ou t to the family. She said: “My thoughts are with the family and specially trained officers are supporting them. It’s heart-breaking to lose a loved one in tragic circumstances. It’s even more difficult at this time of year.
“This was a brutal attack on Mark and we are concentrating on speaking to people who went to the party on Hutton Avenue. Frightened witnesses may have left the scene quickly and it’s these people that we are keen to speak to.
“This is a large scale investigation; we have set up a Major Incident Room with forensic, detective and uniformed teams following up lines of enquiry and information as it comes in.
“Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”