Pathologist tests remains from lake

SUFFOLK police were last night waiting to hear if suspected human remains found in a Northampton lake are those of alleged murder victim Ian Halls.The grisly discovery, made by a dog walker on Monday lunchtime, has seen officers descend on Ransome Road Lake, a former gravel pit, over the past two days.

SUFFOLK police were last night waiting to hear if suspected human remains found in a Northampton lake are those of alleged murder victim Ian Halls.

The grisly discovery, made by a dog walker on Monday lunchtime, has seen officers descend on Ransome Road Lake, a former gravel pit, over the past two days.

Senior officers from Suffolk are working closely with their counterparts in Northampton to determine whether the remains, thought to be a human leg, are those of Mr Halls.

The 63-year-old, who lived in Tower Mill Road in Ipswich, was reported missing on January 29 by his concerned stepsister.


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The latest find comes six weeks after the former librarian's head, hands and upper leg were discovered in the River Witham, near Boston in Lincolnshire.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said yesterday: “We can confirm that we have been made aware of the discovery of body parts thought to be human at Ransome Road Lake in Northampton by Northampton Police.

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“A Home Office pathologist will be examining the remains to determine whether or not they are human.

“Should that prove to be the case further inquiries will be carried out to ascertain whether this discovery is linked to Suffolk Constabulary's investigation into the murder of Ian Halls.”

A specialist underwater search team from Thames Valley Police was called in to help in the hunt, which continued until darkness fell on Monday.

They were joined by four specialist search officers from Northampton Police and a trained cadaver dog, who combed the entire area around the lake for any further signs of human remains.

The force helicopter was also used in the search. A spokesman for Northampton Police said yesterday that they could not comment on what the item was or how it came to be in the lake.

But she added that the remains had been taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where an examination was due to be carried out yesterday afternoon.

Ransome Road Lake, which ceased use as a gravel pit in the 1960's, is a popular location for anglers and water skiers.

But this is not the first time that the lake, which has a circumference of around a mile, has thrown up some macabre secrets.

Richard Stevenage-Jones, chairman of the Northampton Nene Angling Club, which fish at the lake, told the EADT that the find would not come as a shock to locals.

He added: “Before this there was another body found there, going back about three months – there have been animal remains and such like in there as well.

“I've been down there this morning and there were policemen going round the lake on bikes looking around.

“I don't think it will put people off going to the lake though – in fact the last body was found by an angler, and that didn't stop people going.

“It's not something that's nice to come across but, having said that, within a day of the last body coming out people were back on the river fishing again.

“Knowing the area as I do, it's not much of a shock – but if it is the remains of a man from Ipswich than that is very strange.”

n Mr Hall's nephew, Michael Harvey, of North Down Avenue in Manchester, appeared before Ipswich Crown Court charged with his murder on May 4.

The 49-year-old was remanded in custody until the next court hearing on August 5.

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