Murder victim’s missing remains surface in river where police found bag of bones
Missing remains of a murder victim whose bones were found dumped in the river surfaced at the same spot today.
DNA tests confirmed the remains are from the same man whose bones were found inside two black bin bags thrown in the River Stour.
The bags were hauled out of the water by a nature reserve warden after they were spotted by a member of the public on August 27 in Sudbury, Suffolk.
Forensic tests established that the victim was a man of athletic or muscular build.
But he has not been identified despite his DNA being compared with UK and worldwide databases.
A murder inquiry has been launched even though a post mortem by a Home Office pathologist failed to establish how the man died.
The small amount of additional human remains were found during searches of the river by specialist officers including divers.
Suffolk Police said more than 20 officers continue working on the investigation and tests to try and identify when the victim died were ongoing.
Detectives have spoken to around 750 people and taken more than 140 statements or reports during their eight-week investigation.
They have also examined 180 hours of footage from 70 CCTV cameras around the town.
A man was seen swimming in the river at around 5pm on August 20 near where the bones were found, close to a former Victorian bathing pool and Meadow Gate Bridge.
Officers are still trying to trace the man who they say may have been a regular user of the river and is therefore a potential witness.
The man is described as having olive skin, aged 20 to 30 years old, with short black hair.
He was wearing black shorts and was carrying a red rucksack and other items of clothing when he left the river through the bathing pool and walked towards Friars Meadow.
DCS Eamonn Bridger, head of crime for the Suffolk Police, said: “In the weeks since the remains were discovered, a significant amount of work has been undertaken to try to identify the victim and also who is responsible for depositing the bags.
“Due to a number of factors, we were confident that the additional remains that were found as a result of the river searches would also belong to our victim and for investigative reasons, it was appropriate to wait until we had the DNA results before divulging this discovery.
“We expect to receive further forensic test results by early next month, which may help us to determine how long the victim has been deceased.
“Establishing an approximate age for the victim is even more complex, with these tests taking much longer to complete and it is not guaranteed we will get a definitive answer.”
He added: “The inquiry team are also still keen to identify the man seen swimming in the river exactly one week before the remains were discovered.
“He is being treated as a potential witness and if he was someone that regularly swam in the river over the summer, he might have information that could assist us.”
Detectives are urging for anyone who witnessed any suspicious behaviour near to the river in the week before the discovery to come forward.
They also want to hear from anyone who has seen black bin bags in unusual locations, such as ditches or hedgerows.