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Appeal to identify body found in Micheldever farm building in 2017

Press release   •   May 16, 2019 06:00 BST

A facial reconstruction image of a man whose remains were found in 2017

Detectives have released a facial reconstruction image of a man whose body was found in a farm building in Micheldever in 2017.

Officers searched the disused barn off Bazeley Copse Lane on Friday 1 December, 2017, as part of enquiries into an unrelated burglary.

Inside, they found human remains along with items including a sleeping bag, a rucksack, a Sony Walkman, a Martina Cole novel and a Winchester street atlas.

Despite extensive forensic and DNA examinations, detectives have been unable to identify this man, and we are now appealing for help from the public.

Following a Home Office post mortem, and various scientific tests, we believe the man was:

  • white
  • middle aged or older (age range from 30s to 60s)
  • around 5ft 6ins tall
  • short, fair brown hair
  • narrow face with an overbite

We believe the remains had been in the barn for at least a year.

The cause of death was unascertained, but there were no signs that the man had been attacked or restrained. Detectives are treating the death as unexplained but non-suspicious.

They have followed several lines of enquiry to identify this man, including DNA testing, dental examinations, fingerprint analysis from items left in the barn, and checking people reported missing in the Hampshire Constabulary area and other forces.

They have also liaised with the National Crime Agency’s UK Missing Persons Unit.

So far, the man has not been identified.

We are now in a position to release a facial reconstruction image that has been produced by Dr Christopher Rynn at the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee.

Detectives have also released images of the clothing the man was wearing, and items that were found in the barn in Micheldever.

Items include a black Karrimor backpack, a Blacks olive green sleeping bag, yellow protective gloves, a Sony Walkman, a Winchester street atlas and the Martina Cole novel, Close.

Clothing included a pair of pale Fruit of the Loom tracksuit bottoms, a navy blue zipped Outdoor Scene fleece jacket, dark coloured black woolly hat, size 10 Wellington boots, and a pale Marks and Spencer long-sleeved shirt.

Detective Constable Clare Hughes said: “Our priority is to identify this man, make contact with those who knew him and give them some degree of closure.

“We believe that the man had been sleeping rough in the barn, and was possibly following the railway line to walk to or from Winchester.

“We have a DNA profile of the man, but we have had no matches for other missing people in the UK, where DNA is available.

“Someone must know this man. Perhaps you recognise the face? Is the clothing familiar? Does it remind you of someone you have not seen for some time?

“I am urging people to have a good look at the images and the information we have and tell us if you think you can help our investigation.”

If you have any information, please contact us on 101, quoting reference number 44170467777.

In an emergency, call 999.