Human torso wrapped in plastic found at nature reserve

By John Mercury April 6, 2024

A murder investigation is under way after a human torso was found wrapped in plastic at a nature reserve.

Officers were called by a member of the public who discovered an “unknown item wrapped in plastic” at Kersal Dale in Salford, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.

Pathologists and detectives at the scene have confirmed it contained human remains, which are yet to be identified.

Officers are now thought to be searching for other body parts in the local area.

The torso had been there for 24 to 36 hours before it was found and is that of an adult, it is believed.

There are no identifying marks on the remains and the gender and ethnicity of the person have not been revealed.

A post-mortem is due to be carried out which police hope will help them to identify the victim, but the examination is not expected to reveal a cause of death because the full body has not been found.

The remains were discovered at about 5.50pm on Thursday in a secluded woodland area.

An extensive police cordon has now been put in place at the largely wooded reserve, which sits north of Manchester city centre and covers around 32 hectares of countryside, according to its website.

A noticeboard at the entrance to Kersal Dale, near Salford, where a major investigation has been launched after human remains were found on Thursday evening. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said officers were called by a member of the public who found an "unknown item wrapped in plastic". Pic: PA
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Pic: PA

The scene at Kersal Dale where human remains were found

Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes said: “I want to assure the local community that although this is a disturbing and unsettling find, we have a large visible presence in the area to complete inquiries, provide reassurance and to listen to any concerns.”

He said the police cordon at the reserve, which is closed to the public, “is likely to remain for some time” while police “work to unravel what exactly has happened”.

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Police and forensic officers at Kersal Dale, near Salford .
Pic: PA
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A search of the wider area is now under way. Pic: PA

Chief Superintendent Tony Creely, from GMP’s Salford division, said: “We do not know the identity of the person, or whether they are male or female.

“We do know though that these remains are human and it would not be possible for them to have survived.

“The priority is establishing who the person is and carrying out a respectful and diligent enquiry on behalf of that person and their family, whoever they may be.”

Police and forensic officers at Kersal Dale, near Salford .
Pic: PA
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A forensic tent at the scene. Pic: PA


The scene at Kersal Dale where human remains were found

Anyone who may have relevant information is being urged to come forward.

DS Hughes said: “We know that behind this discovery there will be a family who have lost a loved one, and we want to make sure they are supported as quickly as possible.”

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