Manhunt after suitcases containing human remains found on Clifton Suspension Bridge

Forensic crews at the scene
-Credit: (Image: BristolLive/Paul Gillis)

Suitcases containing what are believed to be human remains have been found on Clifton Suspension Bridge. A major investigation has been launched by Avon and Somerset Police's Major Crime Investigation Team after a man with a suitcase was reported to be acting suspiciously on the bridge late on Wednesday night (July 11).

Police officers arrived at the bridge shortly after 12am but the man had left the scene, leaving the suitcase behind. Avon and Somerset Police say a second suitcase was then found nearby. Both are believed to contain human remains.

Avon and Somerset Police say its main priorities are identifying the man who left the suitcases on the bridge and identifying the deceased. Clifton Suspension Bridge remains closed to all traffic while police officers and forensic teams are investigating the scene.

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Acting Bristol Commander Vicks Hayward-Melen said: "This is a very disturbing incident and I fully recognise the concern it will be causing our communities. The investigation is being led by our Major Crime Investigation Team and involves specialist officers and staff from across our organisation.

"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."

She added: "An immediate search of the area was carried out by officers on the ground with the support of the National Police Air Service and HM Coastguard following the discovery of the suitcases. These searches remain ongoing.

"Initial enquiries have established the man was taken to the bridge in a taxi. This vehicle has been seized and the driver is helping us with our enquiries.

"Specialist crime scene investigators are currently examining the bridge and surrounding area and the bridge will remain closed while these enquiries are conducted. A forensic postmortem examination will take place later today. These is currently an increased police presence in the area and anyone who has concerns is encouraged to speak to an officer."

Anyone who has relevant information which could aid the police investigation is asked to call 101 and quote reference number 5224180010