Witness appeal launched after torso found in bin liner on Southsea beach

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POLICE who have launched a murder inquiry following the discovery of a man’s torso in a bin liner on Southsea beach have made a renewed appeal to the public for more information.

At a press conference held at the site of the grim discovery, Detective Inspector Adam Price of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Major Investigation Team said people who had been in the area and may have seen the black bin liner could hold vital clues.

PROBE Police investigate the scene on Southsea seafront where a body was found.   Picture: Allan Hutchings (122282-893)

PROBE Police investigate the scene on Southsea seafront where a body was found. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122282-893)

He said: We are appealing for any members of the public who were at this location between 6am on Monday, July 2 and 6pm on Tuesday July 3 and may have seen a bin bag to let us know. We are appealing for anyone who say anyone acting suspiciously at this location to get in touch.’

‘It could have been deposited directly on the beach or could have from the sea. We don’t know yet. Officers are conducting a forensic search of the beach for other evidence that might assist us with the investigation.’

When asked if any other body parts had been found, DI Price said they had not.

The beach is cordoned off from Rocksbys Cafe to just past The Pyramids and is expected to remain closed overnight while police carry out their search.

Detective Chief Inspector Dick Pearson of the Hampshire Constabulary Major Investigation team added: ‘Our enquiries today are focusing on identifying the body, which we believe to be male, and how it came to be on the beach, including the possibility that it may have washed up with the tide.

‘The torso was discovered by a group of foreign students between 5 and 5.30pm who alerted some nearby workmen. Police were contacted shortly afterwards. As a result of earlier media appeals we have now identified some of the group of students who are currently speaking with officers.

‘It may be that the torso wrapped in a black bin liner had been on the beach some hours before it was discovered. We are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen it on the beach, noticed any suspicious activity in the Clarence Parade area, or has any other information which could assist our investigation to contact us.

‘We are aware that the area was busy yesterday afternoon and evening with a number of people on the promenade between South Parade Pier and the Blue Reef Aquarium watching the P&O ships and other local events. We would like to speak to these spectators if they have specific information which could be of interest to us. ‘

A Home Office post mortem examination was scheduled to take place today.

The local Safer Neighbourhoods team is conducting high visibility patrols in the area for the next few days to provide reassurance to the community. The community bus is also on the seafront 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.