Hampshire police: Murder victim’s body parts could be in Southsea

EARCH Police officers investigate the scene on Southsea seafront.   Picture: Allan Hutchings (122282-893)
EARCH Police officers investigate the scene on Southsea seafront. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122282-893)

Roof-running louts reported in Cowplain

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DETECTIVES investigating the discovery of a man’s torso on Southsea seafront say they believe other body parts may have been left in the area.

Officers today called on the public to look out for suspicious packages, possibly wrapped in black bin liners.

It follows the discovery of the torso on the beach in front of the Pyramids just before 5.30pm on Tuesday.

Police are still trying to identify the victim, who they say was a man but say the task is difficult because the torso was missing both arms and legs and a head.

A post mortem examination carried out yesterday evening could not determine an exact cause of death but police say the victim had been subjected to a sustained and violent assault before his death.

They have now lifted a cordon which had fenced off the scene of the grim discovery.

Detective Chief Inspector Dick Pearson of the Hampshire Constabulary Major Investigation team said: ‘ This is a murder enquiry. The fact that we are unable to use more conventional methods to identify the victim such as fingerprints or dental records is challenging.

‘ The enquiry is open to the possibility that the murder may have taken place away from the local area.

‘ We continue to appeal to the community to contact us with any information which could assist us, particularly any suspicious activity or people on the seafront. Members of the community who are in the area regularly will know if something or someone is out of place, or notice unusual behaviour. Please report it to us.

‘ We are also appealing to anyone who notices suspicious packages, possibly wrapped in black bin liners in the area. As we have confirmed, at this stage only a torso has been discovered. Other body parts or items linked to the murder may have been discarded in the area. If you notice a suspicious package that may be linked to this enquiry do not open it, but contact police immediately. ‘

The local Safer Neighbourhoods team remain on the seafront today (Thursday, July 5) with the community bus for anyone in the area to speak to local officers if they have any information or concerns. Alternatively the Safer Neighbourhoods team can be contacted at Southsea police station on 101.

Anyone who may be able to assist the investigation team should contact the Eastern Area Major Investigation team on 101, quoting Operation Nimbus. Mini-Com users can call the police on 01962 875000. Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.