Police uncover more details of victim in year-long bin bag murder inquiry

The search continues
Suffolk Police searching near the River Stour in Sudbury in August 2020 after the human remains were found Credit: ITV News Anglia

Detectives trying to solve the mystery of a body found in bin bags in a river in Suffolk have released more information about the age and height of the victim.

It is now one year since the grim discovery in Sudbury in August 2020 when police launched a murder inquiry.The human remains were found inside two black bin bags in the River Stour, near Meadow Gate and Croft Bridge.

A post-mortem examination was not able to establish a cause of death or any form of identification.

Expert forensic tests have been taking place over the past year and police are now able to reveal the victim was likely to have been in his late 50s to early 60s and was approximately 5ft 6in tall. It is believed he died between 2008 and 2012.

The approximate age of the victim and time frame 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.

It has been established at an early stage of the inquiry that the victim was an adult male, who was likely to have an athletic or muscular build.

The police investigation has involved extensive searches and interviews with more than 1,000 people Credit: ITV News Anglia

Efforts to identify the victim are continuing and 230 missing person records have been reviewed. Detectives are looking at further opportunities to explore the comparison of DNA across numerous national and international databases being developed with the assistance of the National Crime Agency.  

A 26-year-old man from Sudbury was arrested in May for questioning and has been bailed and released under investigation.

In the past year, detectives have interviewed 1,400 people, taken 1,140 statements and collated 1,672 physical and forensic exhibits.

The human remains were found inside two black bin bags in the River Stour at Sudbury near Meadow Gate and Croft Bridge Credit: ITV News Anglia

Suffolk's Assistant Chief Constable Eamonn Bridger said: "A huge amount of progress has been made over the past year by everyone who has been working on this extremely complex murder inquiry.

"We said from the outset that this would be a long and methodical process and it has proven to be just so, especially due to the type of specialist forensic testing that has been – and continues to be – taking place.

"Many of the results that have come back then need to be subject to further tests and so we still have a distance to go. However, we have received many positive and helpful results including the approximate age of the victim and dates between which he is believed to have died.  

Police divers searching the river at Sudbury in Suffolk after human remains were found in bin bags in August 2020. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Mr Bridger said: "We remain grateful to all the members of the public, experts, specialists and partner organisations who have, or continue to, assist us with this investigation.

"I would like to repeat my appeal from last year for anyone who knows anything about this discovery to come forward. If you have concerns over a male relative, friend or colleague you haven’t seen or heard from, since between 2008 and 2012 and who was aged in their late 50s or early 60s at the time, then please contact us."

Detectives are continuing to appeal for anyone with information about the discovery of the human remains in the River Stour last summer 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.