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Luke Durbin: Family and detectives face tense wait to discover if bone belongs to Luke

10:54 05 March 2014

Luke Durbin's mother Nicki and Det Supt John Brocklebank

Luke Durbin's mother Nicki and Det Supt John Brocklebank

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Luke Durbin’s family and police face a tense wait to discover if a piece of human bone found in woodland belongs to the missing 19-year-old.

Detective Superintendent John Brocklebank, the man leading the inquiry to find out what happened to the Hollesley teenager who disappeared in 2006, yesterday stressed it would unwise for anyone to jump to any conclusions at this stage.

The bone was discovered by 30 officers working with the Luke Durbin inquiry team, in a search of woodland in Ufford on February 21.

However, at this stage police have made it clear they must wait for forensic analysis to discover the age and sex of the person it belongs to, as well as how long the bone dates back to.

Around 15-20 officers yesterday morning began a more focused search in the wooded area between the B1438 and The Avenue/Parklands in an effort to find further remains which could help their investigation.

They have cordoned off an area said to be the size of a football pitch and are concentrating their efforts within a smaller area inside that.

Police have said there could be many reasons for the remains being in the woodland, not all of which are suspicious.

In addition they are aware of at least one other person who has been missing for a significant period of time.

Meanwhile, all Mr Durbin’s mother Nicki and the rest of his family can do is wait for the results of tests on the bone, which could take up to two or three weeks.

Det Supt Brocklebank said: “Nicki is fully supportive of what we are doing. She is clearly apprehensive but understands this could be relevant to something that is non-suspicious.

“Nicki is keeping an open mind because there are lots of circumstances which could explain what we have found.”

A forensic osteo-archaeologist is currently at the site as officers look for further remains.

It is understood a search began 13 days ago as part of the ongoing inquiry rather than due to any recent tip-off or new piece of information.

Det Supt Brocklebank said: “In the information and intelligence we have got there was a suggestion that Luke frequented that area quite regularly and had friends who lived in the area at the time he went missing in 2006.

“The woodland is a huge area. There are two small car parks off the Parklands estate and there is a football pitch at the other side of the wood.

“The area we are looking at is between those two sections and is quite well into the wood.

“This could take two to three weeks and everything will be considered. We need to identify who that bone belongs to and they will involve tests.

“We are not linking what we have found to any particular person at this stage.

“We would prefer people who walk their dogs and people who usually walk in the woodland to give us time and space, and not go through there.”

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