POLICE now have a painstaking task ahead of them in identifying the body.
And although cases like this are thankfully rare, forensic science will be used to discover as much as possible about the victim from the remains.
From the information released so far, even confirming the victim’s sex has been difficult with police only saying they ‘believe he’s male’.
However, analysis of DNA, bone structure and internal organs will be able to give a clearer picture of the person, their gender, rough age and height.
It can also give an indication of the victim’s last meals and possibly even where they have been through the contents of the stomach or lungs. Even something like pollen can give a clue to the victim’s location in the period leading up to his death.
They will also be looking at whether the body has been in the water – if it has been in the water, scientists will be trying to establish how long for.
Water and air temperatures will also affect rates of decomposition, which gives clues as to how long the person has been dead.
And officers will be busy contacting other police forces for any unsolved missing persons cases that could fit the bill.
In one of this century’s most shocking cases, the torso of a young African boy was found in the River Thames in 2001.
The victim was named Adam by police unable to identify him, and police only identified him in 2011 as a six-year-old Nigerian boy, Ikpomwosa after an international appeal. No one has ever been charged with his murder.
A post mortem of the victim was due to take place yesterday afternoon, but details have not yet been released.