Archaeologists complete excavation in renewed search for Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett

Credit: PA

Archaeologists have finished excavating the primary scene in the renewed search for Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett and found "no visible evidence" of human remains.

Greater Manchester Police said "no bones, fabric or items of interest" have been recovered in the area recently brought to police attention by a member of the public who had been researching the schoolboy's murder.

The search continues in the wider area of Saddleworth Moor in the Peak District, and soil samples have been taken for analysis.

Keith Bennett Credit: PA

Greater Manchester Police said a "meticulous examination of the initial area" had been completed and officers have moved on to surrounding grounds to ensure nothing has been missed.

Detective Chief Inspector Cheryl Hughes said: "Forensic archaeologists and forensic anthropologists have now completed a methodical archaeological excavation and examination of the area previously dug and refilled by the member of the public.

"No bones, fabric or items of interest were recovered from the soil.

"These accredited and certified forensic experts are now continuing with a methodical and controlled excavation of the area immediately surrounding the original site to provide a higher level of assurance of the presence or absence of any items of interest.

"Further soil samples have been taken for analysis, but at this time there is no visible evidence to suggest the presence of human remains.

"The scene examination is ongoing."

She added: "We have seen the outpouring of support since this news broke so know how our communities feel about this case but we are asking members of the public not to travel to the area and can assure them that we will provide timely and appropriate updates."

Detective Hughes said that GMP is keeping Keith's family updated at each stage of the search.

Credit: PA

Twelve-year-old Keith Bennett was snatched by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley 58 years ago in June 1964, in south Manchester, but his remains have never been found.

Police say they were contacted by the author researching Keith's murder who believes he had discovered human remains, at around 11.25am on 29 September.

Keith's brother Alan Bennett said he was frustrated that the search had failed to find him. On his Facebook page, Alan Bennett posted: "I would like to publicly thank the Cold Case Team and the Forensic Team for all they are doing on the moor and for keeping me informed."

He also suggested Mr Russell should return to the moors to help police find the precise location of his find.

Brother of Moors Murder victim says he is 'frustrated' new information has not yet found his sibling

Brady ignored repeated requests from Keith's late mother, Winnie Johnson, over several decades to identify the location of his makeshift grave so she could give her son a proper Christian burial. She died in 2012.

Keith is one of five victims of Brady and Hindley, alongside Pauline Reade, 16, John Kilbride, 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17.

Hindley died in jail in 2002 at the age of 60 and Brady died in a high-security hospital in 2017 aged 79.