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Human Remains Discovered River Stour Sudbury

Police are appealing for information after bags containing bones were discovered in a river in Sudbury.


Detectives investigating the discovery of human remains in a Sudbury river over three years ago are now releasing more details about the case.  Police were called at around 4.35pm on Thursday 27 August 2020, after human remains were found inside two black bin bags in the River Stour, near Meadow Gate and Croft Bridge.


A Home Office post-mortem examination conducted three days later was not able to establish a cause of death or any form of identification.  A small amount of additional human remains were recovered as a result of searches of the river in the week after the bags were found, with DNA testing of these remains confirming that they are from the same person as the original discovery.


Expert forensic tests have taken place to help build a profile of the victim, the results of which have indicated that they were a white adult male of north European descent, approximately 5ft 6in to 5ft 9in tall, of medium build, with blonde hair when born (which may have darkened over time), and likely to have been of an athletic or muscular build.


He is believed to have died between 2008 and 2012 and he was likely to have been aged in his late 50s to early 60s at the time of death.  The approximate age of the victim and timeframe for his death are based around the results of radiocarbon dating, which has been undertaken as part of the ongoing specialist forensic work in the case.  Efforts to identify the victim have so far proved unsuccessful.  Missing person records across local, regional and national databases have been reviewed and further opportunities to explore the comparison of DNA across numerous national and international databases is continuing.  In addition to collaborating with the National Crime Agency, the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team is continuing to work with regional partners and a number of other specialists and experts from across the country.


Detectives are now able to release further information about the case that has not previously been disclosed.


The actual remains that were discovered are as follows; part of the skull and jaw; the right and left arm bones and partial wrist bones; and the complete lower right and left legs, including the feet.  The remains of the arms, legs and feet were partially mummified and there was a healed fracture to one of the wrist bones. The opinion of the forensic pathologist who performed the post-mortem was that the skull had sustained multiple areas of sharp force trauma, resulting in cuts of a similar orientation.  The bones had been cleanly dismembered at the joints.  Both arms and the feet were bent inwards and upwards, which was possibly as a result of how they were stored.


The black bags the remains were found in are not believed to have been in the water for long and appeared to have been dropped into the river from close to the bank, rather than thrown into the centre.  The bags were weighted down with bricks, which have been identified as 'Eastwoods Fletton' bricks, along with decorative stones.  Within the black bags were carrier bags containing the bricks and decorative stones.  These included a white 'Thing-Me-Bobs' bag (the style of which was produced between 2013 and 2015); a 'Boots' bag from circa 2012; and generic blue carrier bags - typically used by market traders.


A number of air fresheners - the type of which that are for commercial use in toilets - were also found in the bags with the remains.  These were found to have been a business-to-business janitorial product made by Jeyes, at a factory in Mold, North Wales, and became obsolete around 2011.


Detective Superintendent Mike Brown, the Senior Investigating Officer, said "I am once again appealing for assistance from the public to contact us if they believe they have any information about either the victim's identity, his death, or the deposition of the remains.  Any information you provide will be dealt with in confidence.


As stated previously, not being able to identify our victim is a huge obstacle in this case.  I would ask people to read the description of the victim's profile above again, and then cast their minds back to the period between 2008 and 2012.


If you knew a man aged in his late 50s or early 60s at that time, who suddenly disappeared without a trace (you might think he had simply moved away), then please contact us.  We remain fully committed to solving this complex case and obtaining justice for the victim and any family he may have had".


Detectives are continuing to appeal for anyone with information about the discovery of the human remains in the River Stour to come forward.  This includes anyone who witnessed any suspicious behaviour near the river in the days and weeks preceding the discovery on Thursday 27 August 2020.


Contact Information

Anyone with any information or has any knowledge of the incident is asked to contact Suffolk police on 0800 096 1011 until 7pm this evening thereafter please contact the incident room on 01473 613513

Website –

Crimestoppers – Contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form:

Phone – Call 101

Please note in the event of an emergency you should always call 999