Investigator who found human remains on Saddleworth Moor 'totally convinced' it is Keith Bennett

"You have to keep going because it wasn't for me, for me it's always been for Winnie".

An investigator who found human remains on Saddleworth Moor while researching the Moors Murders says he is "totally convinced" they belong to Keith Bennett.

Russell Edwards, who describes himself as a crime investigator, says he made the discovery while out on the Moors looking for the potential burial place of Keith.

After extensive research using drones and "extensive soil analysis" Russell and his team discovered what they believe to be the 12-year-old's remains, in the youngster’s makeshift grave.

"Working and living that life, being on the moors as much as I have you get that feel - that felt sense," he said.

"When we had that, we went back, we dug up and there was Keith - well the evidence that we brought."

When asked if he thought it was the remains of Keith Russell said he was "totally convinced, yes".

Russel explains the moment he discovered what he believes to be the remains of Keith Bennett.

Keith was last seen by his mother in the early evening of 16 June 1964 after he left home in Eston Street, in Longsight, Manchester, on his way to his grandmother’s house nearby.

But he never made it, and was instead snatched by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

The pair became known as the Moor Murderers after killing ’s four other youngsters and burying them on Saddleworth Moor.

Their victims were Pauline Reade, 16, who disappeared on her way to a disco on 12 July 1963; John Kilbride, 12, who was snatched in November the same year; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, who was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, who was axed to death in October 1965.

Keith Bennett was snatched by Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in south Manchester in June 1964. Credit: Family picture

The killers were caught after the Evans murder and Lesley and John’s bodies were recovered from the moors.

Both Brady and Hindley were taken back to Saddleworth Moor to help police find the remains of the outstanding victims but only Pauline’s body was recovered.

Brady claimed he could not remember where he had buried Keith.

Despite numerous attempts by Keith's mother Winnie to find her son, Brady never engaged.

Russell says he volunteered to help solve the case of Keith Bennett back in 1988 and "really wanted to get involved and help".

This led him to solving the case of Jack the Ripper.

And since then he said he has "dedicated his life to finding Keith Bennett".

Working with the Daily Mail on his latest project he assembled a team and began the search for Keith, close to where the other bodies of Brady and Hindley's victims were discovered.

"It started back in 1988 when they were looking for volunteers to find Keith Bennett on the moors," he said.

"I hired a van, went to Saddleworth Moor, nobody was there but I really wanted to get involved to help, but back then I was only 21//22.

"So I went to London very shortly after, solved the identity of Jack the Ripper, and came up in September 2015 at which point within a week of me being here, I dedicated my life to try and find Keith Bennett."

Russell said he struggled to describe the feeling of finding the remains of, who he believes, is Keith.

He said: "After seven years of dedicated work on this case it was absolutely mind-blowing for me - phenomenal".

He continued: "On the day, the smell was so bad so a few videos I did for myself I could barely talk".

The investigator dedicated his work to Winnie Bennett, Keith's mother who died in 2012.

When asked what this find could mean for the case, Russell said: "It's for Winnie.

"She spent her whole life trying to find Keith on The Moors begging with Brady and begging with Hindley to let her know where he was and they never did".

Greater Manchester Police (GMP), who are now carrying out the search on the moor after Russell informed them of his find, said it was "too early" to be certain if the remains were human.

The force said: "We are in the very early stages of assessing the information which has been brought to our attention but have made the decision to act on it in line with a normal response to a report of this kind.

"It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been discovered and this is expected to take some time.

"We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family.

"As such, we have informed his brother of the potential development - he does not wish to be contacted at this time and asks that his privacy is respected."