Can forensic experts solve mystery of 'Sudbury bones' victim?

Police spent 10 days searching in and around the River Stour after the human remains were found Pict

Police spent 10 days searching in and around the River Stour after the human remains were found Pictures: ELLA WILKINSON - Credit: Archant

Forensic experts are still trying to shed light on the identity of a suspected murder victim after human remains were discovered in a Sudbury river nearly 18 months ago. 

Suffolk police said the force is continuing to work with "a number of specialist providers" after two black bin bags containing human bones were found in the River Stour, near Meadow Gate and Croft Bridge, on August 27, 2020

A murder investigation was launched but a post-mortem examination was not able to establish a cause of death or any form of identification.

Divers in the River Stour as the probe into the human bones discovery in Sudbury continues. Pictures

Police divers in the River Stour in August 2020 - Credit: Archant

Officers did reveal that the victim was a man, probably of "athletic or muscular build", and have since established through specialist forensic work that he was likely to be aged in his late 50s to early 60s and was around 5ft 6in tall

Radiocarbon dating forensic work was also able to reveal that the victim likely died sometime between 2008 and 2012. 

A small amount of additional human remains were recovered from the river a week after the bags were found, and DNA testing confirmed that they were from the same person as the original discovery.

A police cordon was set up near St Gregory's Church in Sudbury after suspected human bones were disc

A police cordon was set up near St Gregory's Church in Sudbury following the discovery - Credit: Sonya Duncan

DNA checks revealed the victim did not match with anyone on the UK's missing person database, and an inquest into the death was adjourned in November 2020 as the man had not been identified. 

Last year, police said more than 1,400 people have been spoken to as part of the investigation, with 1,140 statements or reports taken.

A 26-year-old man from Sudbury was arrested in connection with the discovery on May 25, but he was released under investigation.

Forensic tests have established the victim was an athletic male Pictures: ELLA WILKINSON

Forensic testing has revealed the victim is a man, likely to have been aged in his late 50s or early 60s - Credit: Archant

Suffolk police said the force is also following "a number of lines of enquiry" as investigations continue. 

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A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “The investigation into the discovery of the human remains is ongoing and Suffolk police continue to work with a number of specialist forensic providers to try and establish the identity of the victim and their ancestral ethnicity.

"Officers are also continuing to follow a number of lines of enquiry around the circumstances leading to the deposition of the remains in the river in August 2020.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Suffolk police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.