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Gloucestershire Business News

Police appeal in bid to identify body that lay undetected on Cotswold estate for more than a year

Police are baffled about the identity of a man whose remains were found on a Cotswold forestry estate a year ago and are appealing for information to solve the mystery.

A forestry worker on the Cirencester Park estate owned by Earl Bathurst discovered the man's remains close to the A419 Stroud Road on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 1 2018.

Despite extensive forensic and DNA examinations, Gloucestershire police have been unable to identify the man who they believe had lain undiscovered for at least twelve months before he was found.

The Bathurst estate is home to the Earl, Allen Bathurst, and his wife, Countess Sarah Bathurst. Their estate includes the Cirencester Park Polo Club where Princes Charles, William and Harry have all frequently played.

"This man has family somewhere, he is someone's son and we would like to return him home" said Detective Chief Inspector Richard Ocone, who held a press conference this week to appeal to the public for help identifying the dead man.

"Officers have completed their initial investigations but have been unable to identify the man despite all of the necessary forensic and DNA examinations taking place" he added.

DCI Ocone said it is believed that perhaps the man was a traveller of some sort as the items in his bag showed some form of preparation for travel.

"A small Sony wireless FM radio, aviator sunglasses, a wind up torch and a Karrimor rucksack - which had a white plastic bag covering it in an attempt to waterproof it - were nearby and these are distinctive items which may help to identify him but also show he was prepared for travel," said DCI Ocone.

"No personal items such as a mobile phone or identification were found and because of this we would say that the man was isolated and of a transient character.

"Due to the location where the remains were discovered, it's believed that he may have been travelling between Cirencester and Stroud; this leads us to think that the he may have regularly travelled between different areas of the county."

Police initiially thought the man may have been a homeless man local to the area but

further investigation has led them to believe this is no longer the case.

A forensic anthropologist and odontologist, have completed reports and it is believed that the deceased was a white man between five foot five and five foot eight inches tall who may have been of a large build.

These reports also suggest that the man was around 28-31 years old. However it is hard to know for sure and he could have been anywhere between the ages of 28 and 55.

"We have recently used the services of an expert in facial reconstruction to create an image of what it is believed the man looked like and we hope that this will also help to identify him" said Scenes of Crime Co-ordinator Martin Cuffe who has also been involved in the investigation.

When found the body was clothed in a black/dark grey Peter Storm raincoat, a grey/blue short sleeved shirt (with hand stitched repairs), a black gilet and blue trousers with a dark leather belt.

Dark trainers with a white sole and a beige baseball cap were found next to the body.

"We understand that it may be hard to think back this far but if you know of someone who matches the above description that you haven't seen for some time, or believe that you've previously driven past this man within the county please let us know by calling 101 and quoting Operation Octave."

Information can also be submitted via email at Op.Octave@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk or our online form at www.gloucestershire.police.uk/operationoctave.

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