Police 'search for other body parts' after torso found wrapped in plastic in Salford nature reserve

  • ITV Granada Reports Correspondent Rob Smith with the latest from the scene

Police are believed to be searching for other body parts after a torso was discovered wrapped in plastic at a nature reserve.

A murder investigation was launched after a member of the public found the "unknown item" in Kersal Dale, Salford, at around 5.50pm on Thursday 4 April.

Detectives and pathologists later confirmed the item was human remains which, they say, had only been there for a "matter of days".

Detectives and pathologists later confirmed the item was human remains which, they say, had only been there for a "matter of days".

It is understood the search is now ongoing in the local area for other body parts.

Police officers are searching the nature reserve for more body parts it is understood. Credit: PA Images

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) initially said, following the discovery, the remains had not been identified but it "would not have been possible for the victim to have survived".

The force added it was also currently unable to determine whether the remains belonged to a male or female, or the age of the victim,

It added it believes it was an adult, and there are no identifying marks on the remains.

  • Superintendent Tony Creely speaks at a press conference after police found what is believed to be a torso

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out which police hope will help them to identify the victim.

But officers are not expecting the examination to reveal a cause of death because the full body has not been found.

Chief Superintendent Tony Creely speaks to the media at Kersal Dale, near Salford. Credit: PA Images

Speaking at a press conference at the nature reserve, Superintendent Tony Creely said: “We do not know the identity of the person or whether they’re male or female. We do know, though, that these remains are human, and they would not be possible for them to have survived.

“From forensic inquiry so far, we believe that these remains are likely to have been here for a matter of days. It really is a tragic case.

“Our priority now is establishing who this person is, and ensuring that we carry out a diligent and respectful investigation on behalf of that person and their family, whoever they may be.”

Forensic officers at Kersal Dale, near Salford, where a major investigation has been launched after human remains were found. Credit: PA Images

The Major Incident Team has now launched a murder investigation.

Superintendent Creely said the force’s forensic teams and detectives will be in the area “for some time”.

“We’re speaking to those locals in the area, dog walkers, passers by, or anyone else who might who may have the smallest bit of information.

"We need to make a breakthrough in this case and we urge anyone with any information whatsoever to contact the police without delay.”

Police are continuing to search the area where the remains were found. Credit: MEN Media

The nature reserve sits between Littleton Road in the Salford area and off Bury New Road in the Prestwich area, north of Manchester.

Due to the nature of the location - a secluded large woodland area - an extensive scene has been put in place.

No arrests have been made as yet.

A large police presence is now in place at the nature reserve. Credit: MEN Media

Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes from GMP’s Serious Crime Division added: “I want to assure the local community that although this is a disturbing and unsettling find, we have a large visible presence in the area to complete enquiries, provide reassurance and to listen to any concerns.

"I encourage anyone who may have relevant information to speak to these officers.

“A large scene is now in place, and is likely to remain for some time, whilst we work to unravel what exactly has happened here. The area is closed to members of the public.

“The victim has not yet been identified, but we know that behind this discovery there will be a family who have lost a loved one, and we want to make sure they are supported as quickly as possible."

Anyone with information, or who thinks they may have witnessed something suspicious in the Kersal Dale area over the last few days is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log number 2695 of 4 April 2024.

Details can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.