Mystery goes on over body found in harbour

The rail ticket and below, a facial reconstruction of the man

The rail ticket and below, a facial reconstruction of the man

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THE identity of a body found in Scarborough harbour remains a mystery - 22 years on.

The middle-aged man was found at 6.15am on May 4 1989.

North Yorkshire Police have reopened the investigation into the identity of a body found in Scarborough 21 years ago. ''A middle-aged man was discovered in the town's harbour at 6.15am on 4 May 1989 and despite a number of enquires at the time he was never identified. ''Detectives are reviewing a number of cases involving unidentified bodies in the county and are appealing for any information that could help identify this man. ''Police believe that he may have had connections in Greater Manchester, Blackburn, Todmorden and Calderdale. ''When he was found in 1989, his age was estimated at between 30 and 60 years old. He was described as white, clean shaven, weighing approximately 12 stone, 5ft 10in tall with brown eyes.''He had a full head of black collar length hair that was turning grey and possibly combed into a centre parting. His teeth were all natural with fillings and gold capping.

North Yorkshire Police have reopened the investigation into the identity of a body found in Scarborough 21 years ago. ''A middle-aged man was discovered in the town's harbour at 6.15am on 4 May 1989 and despite a number of enquires at the time he was never identified. ''Detectives are reviewing a number of cases involving unidentified bodies in the county and are appealing for any information that could help identify this man. ''Police believe that he may have had connections in Greater Manchester, Blackburn, Todmorden and Calderdale. ''When he was found in 1989, his age was estimated at between 30 and 60 years old. He was described as white, clean shaven, weighing approximately 12 stone, 5ft 10in tall with brown eyes.''He had a full head of black collar length hair that was turning grey and possibly combed into a centre parting. His teeth were all natural with fillings and gold capping.

Police reopened the investigation last year but, despite several people being named as a potential match to the man, all were eliminated after further enquiries.

North Yorkshire Police’s head of major and specialist crime, Detective Superintendent Lewis Raw, said: “On the face of it, there is a lot of evidence in this case.

“The man could be traced to a hotel room, there is a lot of information about property, and there is forensic evidence as fingerprints were taken.

“But the property could not be traced back to any one individual, the case pre-dated DNA and fingerprints were not stored on a national recording system.

“Prior to 1992, DNA was not used extensively in any investigations so, in cases which pre-date that time, there was no consideration of taking samples for DNA comparison. Unless we can access samples of some age to obtain DNA profiles, it is very difficult to use DNA as a technique to identify an individual and then we are dependent on people coming forward with details to allow us to make a connection.”

It is known that the man stayed at a hotel in Scarborough for two nights. He left on May 1 1989, and was last seen alive in the early evening of that day.

All he had with him was a Greater Manchester Police property bag containing a few toiletries, a Barclays Bank cheque stub and cheque book cover, a newspaper, a used rail ticket from Blackburn to Todmorden and a railway timetable.

Police believe that he may have had connections in Greater Manchester, Blackburn, Todmorden and Calderdale.

In 1989 his age was estimated at between 30 and 60. He was described as white, clean shaven, about 12st, 5ft 10in tall and had brown eyes.

Hopes were raised in July last year when a witness claimed to have seen the man in the 1980s, drinking at pubs in Blackburn.

The witness also suggested that he might have known the man from serving a jail term in the Blackburn area.

But this possible sighting, like all the others, proved to be a red herring.

Anyone with information that could help the investigation should contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 6060247.