Luke Durbin: Bone testing will be pivotal as officers continue search of woods

Every test carried out on the bone will diminish its size and its possible potential for future tests. It is the reason why officers are so keen to find other remains or bones in the same area. Every test carried out on the bone will diminish its size and its possible potential for future tests. It is the reason why officers are so keen to find other remains or bones in the same area.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
8:14 AM

Part of a bone measuring around three inches will be pivotal in discovering whether detectives’ eight-year search for Luke Durbin has come to an end.

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It’s a potentially precious piece of evidence which they can not afford to denigrate through forensic testing while it is all they have.

This is their dilemma.

In order to preserve what they have found officers must prolong their wait and the agony of Luke’s family.

Every test carried out on the bone will diminish its size and its possible potential for future tests. It is the reason why officers are so keen to find other remains or bones in the same area.

The more they find the quicker the process to discover who the remains belong to.

At this stage officers genuinely do no know whether the bone part belongs to Luke. Until such time as there is something positive from the testing process they can not know what they have found.

Yesterday, detectives felt compelled to reveal they had discovered part of a bone during a search 13 days ago.

Throughout the past four years they have reviewed and reviewed the case, going over and over their processes. During the most recent review they decided to take a look at the woodland in Ufford where Luke was known to have been a frequent visitor. He also had friends living in the area at the time.

Police decided to reveal what they had found because they knew going back yesterday, putting a cordon up, and corralling an area roughly the size of a football pitch would draw public attention.

Therefore a decision was taken to inform the media, creating interest across the region and from national media.

Now all officers can do is wait and hope science will uncover the mystery of whose bone has been found among the trees and shrubs.

Suffolk Constabulary have called in the same forensic osteo-archaeologist and anthropologist who helped them solve the mystery of bones found at building site in Valley Road, Ipswich, in October 2011.

On that occasion she helped detectives discover they were the remains of a 65-year-old man who had last been seen in 1986.

The archaeologist was at the Ufford site yesterday.

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