Human remains discovered in Sudbury belong to ‘athletic man’, police confirm
- Credit: Archant
The human remains discovered in a Sudbury river last week belong to a man, a senior Suffolk police officer has confirmed.
Police were called to the River Stour, near Meadow Gates and Croft Bridge, at around 4.35pm on Thursday, August 27 after a member of the public alerted a wildlife ranger to bin bags.
The bags were found to have bones inside and a submerged shopping trolley was also discovered nearby.
A large-scale murder investigation is now underway and a police presence is expected to remain in Sudbury for some time.
Speaking today, Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger said further forensic tests have revealed the remains are that of a man, probably of athletic or muscular build, but the force does not yet have a complete body.
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“We remain really sensitive to how finds of this nature affect families up and down the country, who are all hoping for news around their loved ones,” he said.
“Obviously we’ve been liaising closely with those that are linked to Suffolk cases right from the start and have been able to, at this time, rule out some of those from being the remains that have been found.
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“We have, since the find, conducted extensive enquiries. There’s obviously still a large crime scene in place and searches ongoing.
“A Home Office post-mortem was conducted earlier this week and at this time there is no obvious cause of death but what we do know is that we don’t have a complete body within the finds so far.
“We do know that it’s the body of a man, and probably of athletic or muscular build.
“There is no further pieces of information around the identity I can give at this time because there is a lot of forensic testing needed.”
DCS Bridger added that the man’s death is not recent, and that police are appealing for anyone who might find refuse sacks in “unusual circumstances” around the Sudbury area to contact them.
“One of the other things that we do know is that it isn’t a recent death. So therefore, there has been sometime between when that individual died and when the bags were deposited in the river,” DCS Bridger said.
“That becomes really significant when we look at the things we’re appealing for at the moment.
“We continue to appeal for witnesses of any suspicious activity in the Croft Bridge area of the River Stour in Sudbury. Also, specifically we’d like to appeal to anyone who may see or find any refuse sacks in unusual circumstances in and around the area of Sudbury.
“Finally, we would appeal directly to people in the community who will have some understanding of what has occurred here. Whether they are able to speak directly or need to do it through Crimestoppers, we would urge them to come forward and give us the information about who this body might be and indeed who may be responsible for depositing it in the river.”
DCS Bridger was unable to confirm exactly how long further forensic testing might take, but added that the force is reviewing missing persons cases from across the country.
“We are in the hands of experts and some of the forensic testing required and testing that is needed to answer the additional questions we have does, unfortunately, take some time,” he said.
“All I can say to reassure everyone is that we are doing it as quickly as possible and we will keep the right people updated and informed.
“I would say that we are linked in with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the national missing persons database. We’re acutely aware that there will be people out there waiting for answers and we will move as swiftly as we can.
“The forensic material we have will be compared against anything that is already held on file and we’re reviewing many cases from across the country to make sure that if we can make early progress, we will.”
Anyone with any information or who has any knowledge of the incident is asked to contact Suffolk police on 101, quoting reference 37/49998/20.
Alternatively, information can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.