Detectives investigating the discovery of a man’s skeleton in Chorley have identified him – more than 15 years after he was found.
The human bones were discovered on farmland in Charnock Richard, near Chorley on 26th July 2002.
The find kick-started a major murder investigation to try and establish the identity of the dead man and that of his potential killer or killers but who he was has remained a mystery, until now.
Advances in DNA have now allowed police to identify the body as Darren Carley who went missing from his home in Swindon in January 2002 aged 24.
A post mortem examination revealed the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head. A fresh murder inquiry has been launched by Lancashire Police to try to establish how Darren sustained his fatal injuries and who is responsible.
Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Hurst, from Lancashire Constabulary’s Force Major Investigation Team, said:
Mr Carley’s body was buried at Chorley Cemetery but he has now been exhumed and returned to his family in Wiltshire.
The original police investigation led detectives to consult forensic archaeologists and odontologists. A computer-generated image of the man’s face was also created as well as a clay head model. Other scientific experts were consulted which led detectives to believe that the victim may have lived a large part of his life in the West Midlands. Police also travelled to India after some experts suggested he could have been from the sub-continent.
Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Hurst added:
- Darren was reported missing to Wiltshire Police in January 2002.
- He was 24 at the time.
- His last reported sighting was in Swindon shortly after midnight on 25th January 2002.
- He was believed to be wearing white tracksuit bottoms with black stripes, a burnt orange fleece and white trainers at the time.
- He had links to the West Midlands and Gloucester.
- Darren’s skeleton was found in Charnock Richard, near Chorley – nearly 200 miles from his home – on 26th July 2002.