Police investigating Salford torso murder say children may have vital clues

Police searching the area for more clues Credit: MEN Media

Police investigating the discovery of a human torso wrapped in plastic at a nature reserve in Salford say children playing nearby may have vital information about the find.

A murder investigation was launched by Greater Manchester Police after a member of the public found the "unknown item" in Kersal Dale wetlands at around 5.50pm on Thursday 4 April.

Detectives and pathologists say the significant body part' consisting of the 'bottom part of the back, buttocks, and thigh' and belonging to a white male aged more than 40, had only been there for a matter of days.

Almost two weeks on from the discovery, police are now standing down from the scene but they say 'the work is far from over.'

They are appealing for witnesses who were in the area between 6am and 6pm. CCTV footage shows children playing in the area in the days leading up to the victim being found and detectives say they could hold vital information without even realising it.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Naismith of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “Our focus from day one has remained on the victim’s family. They will be suffering the loss of a loved one, and we need to be able to give them answers to they can come to terms with their loss. Our work is far from over, this is just the beginning of a long and complex investigation.

“We are confident with the extent of our search and that it’s the right time to stand the scene down. Over the last 12 days, over 100 officers, several search dogs, Crime Scene Investigators, and scientists have worked tirelessly in difficult conditions, searching the area by strategically combing through Kersal Dale Wetlands and its surrounding area.

“Although we haven’t found any more human remains in the area from our searches, we continue to work with an open mind whilst our murder investigation continues.

“Through initial forensic work, we have confirmed the man is likely to be aged older than 40, and appears to be white, however given we don’t know his identity yet, we can’t confirm his nationality at this stage. There are also no distinguishing marks on his body, for example tattoos or noticeable scars.

“My team have checked the victim’s DNA against the UK police database and although this does not bring up a match, there is extensive work ongoing, including trawls of various other databases, missing person records and medical records; it’s a big piece of work which will take time.

“Right now, as well as wanting to speak to those who may have been in the area where the body part was found, we are also appealing to anyone who has a dad, brother, or son who they have not seen in over 12 days to come forward and speak to us. Our victim could be a family member, friend, co-worker or acquaintance and someone somewhere will have an idea of what has happened to him.

“The cooperation and patience from the people of Greater Manchester is greatly appreciated. The community has given us the time and space we needed at the scene in the last week and we continue to feel their support as we work to find answers. What I can say is that we aren’t stopping here.”

Police have been at the scene for almost 2 weeks Credit: ITV Granada

A 20-year-old man was arrested on 6 April on suspicion of murder in connection with the case. He has been released on bail.