Appeal to identify man whose body was pulled from Devon river

The body was recovered from the river in Bideford. Credit: Google Maps

A man whose body was found in a river in Devon could have been working on machinery or a boat before his death, police say.

Devon and Cornwall Police are appealing for help in identifying the man who was found dead in Bideford this week.

Officers were called at 2.15pm on Monday 27 March. Detectives are now working to establish who he is and track down his next of kin.

They have released a description of the man, saying he is a white male, around 50-60 years of age, with receding, greying hair, and a brown but greying neat beard. He has blue eyes and is of a slim build.

He was wearing several layers of clothes – an outer coat of several shades of blue over a black zip-up fleece, a blue wool jumper, all over a collared plaid shirt that is white and brown. He wore dark blue trousers tied with a cord over blue jeans, and black work boots.

He had wads of blue tac in each ear as possible protection against loud noise. He had no identification, and no property, with him.

Detective Sergeant Ben Cartwright said: “Out of respect for this man’s family, officers have been making discreet enquiries since he was found to try and identify him.

"However, this has not been successful, and we are calling on the local community for assistance.

“While we remain open-minded as to who he is, from the clothing and the ear plugs, it is possible he was operating or working on some sort of machinery – be it a boat, or some sort of local industry.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who works or lives in these environments in the area who may recognise this man from the description given, or anyone else who may have any information to assist us.”

Officers say they have eliminated any known local missing people from their enquiries.

Anyone with information that could help with enquiries is being asked to contact police via their website here or by calling 101 quoting log 396 of 27/03/23.