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Sudbury murder inquiry: Detectives look in to timescale of victim's death after human bones discovered in river




Detectives investigating a murder after human remains were recovered from the River Stour in Sudbury are hoping to establish a timescale into the victim's death, as further forensic tests are carried out.

A major murder inquiry has been launched following the discovery of human bones in a pair of black bin bags, which were retrieved from the River Stour, near Meadow Gate and Croft Bridge, at the end of last month.

Recent expert analysis has revealed that the remains belonged to an adult male of athletic or muscular build, who may have died some months ago, or possibly later.

Crime Scene. Two bags of bones were found in the River Stour near Meadow Gate and Croft Bridge ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (42213842)
Crime Scene. Two bags of bones were found in the River Stour near Meadow Gate and Croft Bridge ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (42213842)

As further forensic tests continue to be conducted, detectives say the use of DNA matching will form a central part in determining the identity of the male victim.

Comparisons with DNA from both national and international databases is expected to involve a lengthy process.

The black bin bags were first spotted by a member of the public, with the discovery subsequently reported to police after a ranger inspected the contents, resulting in a police cordon being set up along the riverside.

Crime Scene. Two bags of bones were found in the River Stour near Meadow Gate and Croft Bridge ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (42213847)
Crime Scene. Two bags of bones were found in the River Stour near Meadow Gate and Croft Bridge ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (42213847)

Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger, head of crime, said: "We continue to do all we can to identify the deceased and are working with a number of other agencies to assist us in this.

"The UK Missing Persons Bureau hold records on every missing person in the country and where DNA profiles have been obtained, these are held on their database.

"We have run the initial profile we have of this individual through that database, but have not had a match at this time.

"There are other opportunities that remain open to us and we are continuing to develop these. However, as we have said from the outset, this is an investigation that will take considerable time."

Crime Scene. Two bags of bones were found in the River Stour near Meadow Gate and Croft Bridge ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (42213839)
Crime Scene. Two bags of bones were found in the River Stour near Meadow Gate and Croft Bridge ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (42213839)

Police have confirmed that the remains are not that of Corrie McKeague, an RAF gunner, who has never been found after disappearing in Bury St Edmunds in 2016.

Since the murder inquiry was launched, more than 140 witnesses have come forward to assist police with their investigation.

Police cordons put in place while the river was extensively searched have since been reopened.

Det Chf Supt Bridger added: "Following 10 days of searches in and around the River Stour, this work has now finished and the areas which had been closed off to members of the public are now open again.

"I would once again like to thank local residents for their patience whilst we completed this work and also the officers from the Metropolitan Police and Essex Police, along with the volunteers from SULSAR, for their assistance with the searches.

"We are also receiving ongoing support from the National Crime Agency and the experts that they are able to provide, for which we are also grateful.

"We are continuing to appeal for anyone with information about this shocking discovery to come forward.

"Someone must know who the deceased was, or have information about who deposited the remains, so please come forward and talk to us – any information you give us will be dealt with in confidence.”

If you can help, contact the major investigation team on the non-emergency number 101, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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