Children playing in bunker could be vital witnesses in Salford woodland murder inquiry

Children playing in bunker could be vital witnesses in Salford woodland murder inquiry

Police believe children playing in this location near where human body parts were found could have vital information for murder detectives. The ginnel is in Kersal Dale, Salford, where an horrific find was made on Thursday April 4th.

A person out walking discovered in plain sight, off a footpath, the remains of a man. Wrapped in cellophane they consisted of the bottom of a back, buttocks, and a thigh belonging to a victim thought to be 40 plus years old. The man was white but no nationality has been confirmed.

Police are keen to trace witnesses who were in the area, off Radford Street, between 6am and 6pm on April 4th. CCTV has shown children playing near a concrete bunker leading up to the victim being found at 5.50pm that day.

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About 100 officers and GMP staff, supported by additional resources from neighbouring forces, have been working long hours to try and find out who this victim is and how he has come to be found at Kersal Dale. Yesterday after 12 days an extensive search in the area and the neighbouring Kersal Wetlands was stopped.

In a statement GMP said: "From our vast CCTV trawls which have taken place since the investigation launched, we can see children playing in the area in the days leading up to the victim being found, who could hold crucial information without even realising it."

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Naismith of GMP’s Major Incident Team, Senior Investigating Officer on this investigation, 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.

Police during the search of Kersal Dale last week
The bunker where children were playing at Kersal Dale. It is thought they may have vital information for murder detectives.

“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.”

Anyone who thinks they may have witnessed something suspicious in the Kersal Dale area over the last few days, could be key to unlocking what happened. Please come forward to us by calling 101 and quoting log number 2695 of 4 April 2024. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. A dedicated portal for anyone to submit images or video footage which could help police can be found here: Public Portal (