Detectives investigating the murder of Mohammed Saleem Khan in Easingwold have arrested four people in connection with the incident.
Officers arrested a 26-year-old local man on suspicion of murder in Easingwold, during the early hours of this morning (Monday 24 September 2012). Three other local people, a 20-year-old woman and two men aged 21 and 25 were also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Mr Khan, aged 36, from Luton, was discovered at around 2.30am on Sunday 23 September 2012 by an off-duty local police officer who was travelling along Long Street.
It appeared that Mr Khan, who was a delivery driver working in the area, had been involved in a road traffic collision as his white Ford Transit van had sustained front end damage after hitting two bollards.
The off-duty officer found Mr Khan in the driver's seat of his van suffering from life threatening injuries. He was taken to York District Hospital where he underwent emergency treatment but sadly died later that day.
Police closed the road as collision investigation work was carried out. However, during the course of Sunday police enquiries and a post mortem examination established that Mr Khan had died from a stab wound to the neck.
Detective Chief Inspector Heather Pearson, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "This is a tragic incident for Mr Khan's family and specially trained officers are supporting them at this extremely difficult time.
"At this stage, there are a number of lines of enquiry that are being progressed. One aspect of the investigation is that this may have been an unprovoked, racially motivated attack. However, I am keeping an open mind about the motive.
"I would like to thank members of the public in Easingwold for their tremendous support in helping us to progress this investigation and for coming forward with information that is assisting our enquiries.
"However, I would urge anyone who has information regarding the murder of Mr Khan or anyone who was in and around Long Street in Easingwold between 7pm on Saturday 22 September and 7am on Sunday 23 September 2012, to contact North Yorkshire Police or Crimestoppers as soon as possible.
"At this time a murder weapon has not been found and I am appealing to members of the public in Easingwold to report any discarded objects - be that weapons or clothing - to the police.
"I am also keen to establish the movements of Mr Khan. He was driving a white Europcar Ford Transit van and it is believed that he may have been in and around Easingwold for a period of hours prior to his murder.
"I am anxious to identify where he has been and who he has been with during this time frame."
Key appeal points
Police are keen for further witnesses to come forward, in particular:
If you can help officers investigating the murder of Mohammed Saleem Khan, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 - select option 2 - and ask for York CID.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Please quote reference number 12120159549 when passing information about this incident.
1.03pm - 24 September 2012