Man's body parts found in river

By Danielle NuttallCrime CorrespondentDETECTIVES will continue today to search undergrowth next to a river in which body parts belonging to a missing man were found.

By Danielle Nuttall

Crime Correspondent

DETECTIVES will continue today to search undergrowth next to a river in which body parts belonging to a missing man were found.

Police launched an extensive search of the River Witham in Boston, Lincolnshire, a week ago after a dog walker discovered the upper part of an adult leg.


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DNA testing confirmed the body part was that of Ian Halls, from Ipswich, and police have since recovered a head and two hands in another part of the river at Tattershall.

The initial grim discovery was made on March 20 and DNA tests were carried out on the limb during the past week.

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Following a widespread search along the river, police found the further body parts on Friday.

They are also believed to be those of Mr Halls and have been sent for DNA testing to confirm the identity.

Detectives are still continuing to comb sections of the river and spent most of yesterday pacing a cordoned area of heathland in the search for more clues.

Mr Halls, 63, of Tower Mill Road, Ipswich, was reported missing by family members on January 29.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said yesterday: “DNA testing has confirmed the upper part of an adult leg, recovered from the River Witham at Antons Gowt, is that of Ian Halls.

“Further body parts were recovered from the River Witham at Tattershall on Friday.

“The parts - a head and two hands - are also believed to be of Ian Halls. However, samples have been taken for DNA testing to confirm this. Police searches of the River Witham will be continuing this week.”

Detectives working on the investigation are now carrying out inquiries in Lincolnshire. Experts from the Forensic Science Service in Huntingdon have also been called in to determine whether these body parts also belong to the Ipswich man.

Mr Halls went missing after returning from spending Christmas and the New Year in France.

The search for him began after his stepsister, Diana Doyle, who lives in the London area and with whom he kept in constant contact by telephone and e-mail, became worried and reported him missing on January 29.

She told police there had been no contact between Mr Halls and his family since he left France in early January, which she said was out of character.

A team of 30 officers has been working on the case, searching at least six sites for him.

n Mr Halls' nephew, Michael Harvey, 49, of North Down Avenue, Manchester, has appeared before Ipswich Crown Court charged with his uncle's murder. He is due to reappear in court on April 30.

danielle.nuttall@eadt.co.uk

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