Human remains found in suitcases: Everything we know so far about suspect and dumped body parts

A picture of the man Avon and Somerset Police are searching for after human remains were found in two suitcases in Bristol
-Credit: (Image: Police handout)

A suspect is on the run after human remains were found inside two suitcases left at Clifton Suspension Bridge overnight on Wednesday, July 10. Here's all we know so far:

Clifton Suspension Bridge was closed in both directions at around 6.30am on Thursday morning with Avon and Somerset Police confirming at around lunchtime today that they had been called to the Suspension Bridge shortly before midnight last night, to reports of a man with a suitcase acting suspiciously. Nothing could have prepared them for what came next.

By the time officers arrived at the bridge less than 10 minutes later, the suspect had disappeared from the area, but left the suitcase behind. A second suitcase was found nearby a short time later. Police have since confirmed that the two suitcases were believed to contain human remains. One eyewitness has described how the chilling incident unfolded, including an account of seeing the two suitcases with blood seeping out.


The eyewitness, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Bristol Live how he was taking a walk with his girlfriend when he heard a commotion nearby - and said he saw the man running off, shouting in Spanish, as he was pursued by a man on a bicycle.

He said: "We got to the Leigh Woods end of the bridge at 11.37pm, and saw the blood on the bridge and one case. We kept walking, and saw the second case at the side of the pavement on the road directly after the bridge.

"We then stopped at the junction of the B3129 and Burwalls as we were thinking about what route to take. We decided to walk down Burwalls, then as we walked down we heard a commotion and a cyclist chasing a man, saw the guy run off and we decided to turn back towards the bridge.

"We got back to the bridge at around 11.55pm, spoke to the staff, and they called the police, and we waited for the police to arrive. There were two suitcases, one left on the bridge with what appeared to be blood leaking from it, the other case was on the road just after the bridge on the Leigh Woods side.

"There was blood on the floor along the bridge. The man who had the cases ran from the bridge staff and I saw him being chased by a member of the public on a bike - he was shouting something in Spanish. The cyclist followed the man, who was wearing a dark or black clothing, and was seen running down Burwalls."

Pictures captured by the eyewitness, which Bristol Live has decided not to share, show a trail of blood close to the viewing area on the south side of the Leigh Woods tower.

Police say their priority is to find the suspect, identify the deceased, and inform next of kin
Police say their priority is to find the suspect, identify the deceased, and inform next of kin -Credit:Tristan Cork/Reach PLC

Police launched an investigation and a forensic postmortem is taking place to identify the deceased so their next of kin can be informed. An image of the man officers are searching for has also been released, with the man described as black, with a beard. He was wearing an Adidas baseball cap and black trainers with thick white soles, as well as a gold earring, and was carrying a black backpack.

CCTV footage also confirms that the man crossed over the bridge from the Clifton side and left in the direction of Leigh Woods.

There is speculation that the case could relate to the disappearance of Jack O'Sullivan. Avon and Somerset Police have confirmed to BristolLive that the two cases are not linked.

Speaking at a press conference at the Clifton Suspension Bridge this afternoon, Chief Inspector Vicks Haywood-Melen said the search for the man is ongoing and warned that the public should not approach him.

She said: "Officers are currently working to track his movements through CCTV, and I can confirm we know he left in the direction of Leigh Woods. At this stage we are not aware of any risk to the wider public. However if anyone sees him, our advice is to not approach him and call 999."

She also added that the force has put more officers in the area, acknowledging: "This is a very disturbing incident and I fully recognise the concern it will cause in our communities.

“Our immediate priority is to locate the man who took the suitcases to the bridge, identify the deceased, and inform their next of kin. Specialist officers are ready to provide them with any support they need.”

A private ambulance arrived on the scene shortly before 5pm on Thursday afternoon as part of an ongoing forensic postmortem.

Follow live updates of this incident on our blog.