Children playing in area of torso discovery ‘may hold crucial information’

Children playing in the area of a nature reserve where a torso was discovered days later may unknowingly hold “crucial information”, say police.

The body part – consisting of the bottom of the back, buttocks and thigh – was found in clear plastic by a passer-by at Kersal Dale Wetlands in Salford, Greater Manchester, on April 4.

The victim is believed to have been a white man aged over 40, who had only been dead for a matter of days.

Remains found at Kersal Dale
Forensic officers at Kersal Dale, near Salford (Peter Byrne/PA)

Since the discovery, more than 100 officers – together with search dogs, crime scene investigators and scientists – have worked tirelessly in difficult conditions to comb the wetlands and its surrounding area, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.

No more human remains have been traced.

GMP said on Wednesday that the search has been stood down, but its work on the complex investigation was “far from over” as the force appealed for witnesses to come forward, particularly anyone who was in the area between 6am and 6pm on April 4.

The force revealed that a vast CCTV trawl had uncovered footage of children playing in the area in the days before, and who could hold “crucial information without realising it”.

Detective chief inspector Andy Naismith, of GMP’s major incident team, said: “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.

“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.”

A man arrested on suspicion of murder was later released on bail pending further inquiries.

Anyone with information should call 101 and quote log number 2695 of April 4 2024.

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