Police need help to find identity of dead man

Police have issued a fresh appeal over a man whose body was discovered in Lings Wood, between Northampton and Earls Barton in 2002
Police have issued a fresh appeal over a man whose body was discovered in Lings Wood, between Northampton and Earls Barton in 2002

A new appeal has been launched to try to discover the identity of a body found by litter-pickers more than a decade ago.

Northamptonshire Police are trying to find out the identity of a dead man found in Lings Wood, near Earls Barton, in 2002.

People taking part in a litter pick organised by the Wildlife Trust discovered the man’s body on Sunday, September 29, 2002 in the wooded nature reserve.

The body was found in a small den area underneath some rhododendron bushes. Police were notified and the body was eventually recovered, but to date the body has never been identified.

It is thought it may have been there for up to 12 months and was badly decomposed. A subsequent post-mortem examination did not establish a cause of death.

The appeal, which includes a clay model reconstruction of the man’s head, was broadcast on the BBC1’s Crimewatch Roadshow programme, which is being broadcast from Northamptonshire today and tomorrow (Friday)

He was an adult male, aged between 25 and 50, and he was between 5ft 8in to 6ft, probably with dark hair.

Dental records suggest he would have been at least 30 years of age and isotopic bone examination suggests he lived a large part of his life in an area with prominent chalk/limestone geology.

Fingerprints were not discernible and further analysis is required in continued efforts to enhance his full DNA profile.

Items found with the body included a beige sleeping bag, a black Equinox fleece jacket, a blue Viale work wear top, a green and brown ‘Jet Flow’ Torille 40 Outbound rucksack, cigarette lighters, a purple comb and hairbrush, a spectacle case and lens cloth and a damaged black and white photograph.

He was wearing a pair of blue and grey ‘New Balance’ trainers, white socks, navy ‘Petroleum’ track-suit bottoms, a pair of boxer shorts, a long-sleeved polo-style top and a short-sleeved polo-style top.

A full investigation was launched by Northamptonshire Police in 2002 led by the force Homicide and Major Crime Team.

Neil McMahon, from Northamptonshire Police’s Cold Case Review Team, said: “We’re very keen to try to identify this man and that’s our primary concern here. It has been more than 12 years since he died and we still don’t know who he is. We want to bring some closure to this case and we are taking this opportunity to try to reach as many people as possible here and around the world.”

The services of the National Missing Person Helpline (now called Missing People) and the Missing Person Bureau (now within the umbrella of the National Crime Agency) were utilised.

Anyone with any information which could help identify this man can call Missing People on 0500 700700.