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Bones mystery continues as forensic tests on human remains prove inconclusive

PUBLISHED: 14:46 30 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:56 30 August 2020

Forensic services are involved in the murder investigation in Sudbury. Pictures: ELLA WILKINSON

Forensic services are involved in the murder investigation in Sudbury. Pictures: ELLA WILKINSON

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The riddle surrounding the discovery of human remains found in a Sudbury river looks set to continue after tests on the bones found proved inconclusive.

Forensic services and diving teams in Sudbury after human remains were found Pictures: ELLA WILKINSONForensic services and diving teams in Sudbury after human remains were found Pictures: ELLA WILKINSON

Officers were called shortly after 4.35pm on Thursday to a stretch of the River Stour between Meadow Gates and Croft Bridge, in Sudbury.

Two black bin bags containing the remains of a single human body were recovered from the water near St Joseph’s care home.

A Home Office post-mortem examination was carried out on Sunday morning.

However, it failed to establish the cause of death of the victim’s identity.

Police are searching the area where the bones were found. Pictures: ELLA WILKINSONPolice are searching the area where the bones were found. Pictures: ELLA WILKINSON

Further tests will now be carried out - but police have warned it will be a lengthy process.

MORE: Forensics and river divers seen as murder probe into human bones discovery continues

Temp Det Supt Mike Brown, the senior investigating officer, said: “This initial examination has unfortunately not been able to move us any further forward at this stage.

“The remains will now be subject to further specialist forensic tests, which we hope will provide us with more information.

Cordons have been set up around the area where the discovery was made. Pictures: ELLA WILKINSONCordons have been set up around the area where the discovery was made. Pictures: ELLA WILKINSON

“This process will take time, so it may be a little while until we are able to provide any further significant updates.

“At the forefront of all of our minds is that this was a person – somebody’s child, parent, partner or sibling – and at all times the bones will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity as the tests are completed.

“I would appeal to anyone who believes they have information about this discovery to contact us without delay.

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“This includes anyone who believes they may know who deposited the remains, or anyone who saw someone carrying two black bin bags towards the river over the past week.

“We understand this discovery will have shocked and alarmed many people, but as stated before this is an incredibly rare occurrence and we do not believe there is any wider threat to anyone or cause for concern. Officers will remain at the scene over the coming days and extra patrols are taking place to provide reassurance.

“Finally, I just want to say thank you to all the local residents who have so far assisted us with this investigation, by either providing us with information, or simply for their patience as we conduct our enquiries.”

MORE: Crime scenes to remain for days as human bones murder probe continues

A murder inquiry was launched after a member of the public spotted the bags in the river and reported them to a ranger.

Two police crime scenes were established – one round the river where the bags were discovered, and another where the bags were moved to by the ranger.

The ranger moved the bags before it was known what they contained.

A shopping trolley was also found a close to where the bags were located.

Specialist divers from the Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit and other specially-trained officers are continuing to search the river and its banks, in searches which are likely to continue for days.

The footpath alongside the river is closed between Meadow Gate and Croft Gate - including Croft Road footbridge - and an emergency navigation closure for the River Stour at the Croft Road footbridge has also been put in place.

These closures are expected to remain in place for the next few days.

Anyone with information about this discovery is asked to contact the Major Investigation Team, either via our online portal here or by calling 101.

Detectives would also like to hear from anyone who may have driven their vehicle in the vicinity of The Croft since Monday, August 24 and has a dash cam fitted, to review the footage to see if they captured anything of significance.


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