Police have interviewed a man after a homeless person had red paint thrown over him days before he was found dead in a graveyard.
A detective said officers in Middlesbrough could understand the public “outrage” following the shocking incident at the weekend.
Michael Cash, 32, was found dead at Eston Cemetery on Wednesday.
Police said that his death was not being treated as suspicious and was not linked to the assault on Sunday outside the Tesco store in Normanby where Cash would often sit.
Red paint can still be seen splattered on the ground and wall where Cash was attacked.
People have left flowers and cards in tribute.
According to reports, someone uploaded a video onto social media of Cash being sprayed, with a voice saying: “This is how we deal with beggars on the street.”
It has since been deleted.
A retired couple stopped at the scene on Friday to look at the flowers.
The woman said: “I hope they catch whoever did it.
“You used to see him in the summer, he used to sit out here with his shirt off getting a sun tan.”
Her husband added: “He was harmless, he was a really nice guy.
“We never heard anything ill said about him.”
Detective Inspector Matt Hollingsworth said: “My thoughts are with Michael’s friends and family at this difficult time.
“We are investigating the paint attack on Michael that occurred on Sunday 9th September outside Tesco and we are aware of the obvious feelings of outrage that this incident has caused within the community.
“This afternoon, a 33-year-old man has been interviewed voluntarily in connection with the assault and the investigation is still ongoing.”
Anyone with information about the incident with the paint behind the Tesco store in Normanby is urged to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.