The body of a 30-year-old man was found hanging in an area of North Tyneside where a six-year-old girl was abducted from her home and sexually assaulted.
The house was sealed off
Lee Stephen Bayley, of Bewicke Road, Willington Quay, was discovered on Thursday afternoon, police said.
A post-mortem examination on Friday confirmed that he died from pressure on the neck caused by hanging.
Officers from the abduction inquiry said it was too early to say if the death was linked to the abduction.
The house where Mr Bayley was found has been sealed off and is under police guard.
Police also said a car had been removed from the scene for forensic examination to be carried out.
Lee Bayley was the victim of football violence ten years ago
Speaking from outside the house where the body was found, the BBC's Danny Savage said it was obvious that police were putting a lot more resources into the inquiry than they would normally for a non-suspicious death.
Lee Bayley was in the news in May 1996 when he was the victim of an attack by football hooligans.
He has not officially been linked with the abduction of the six year-old girl which happened on 27 December.