Belfast Telegraph

Workman’s horror on finding human remains at house

By Louise Small and Connla Young

A workman who found human remains in south Belfast yesterday has spoken of his shock when he stumbled across the skeleton.

The remains were discovered by workers sent to clear rubbish from a vacant house at Donegall Avenue, close to the Donegall Road, around 10am.

Last night one of the men who made the grim discovery spoke of his horror at finding the remains.

The man, who does not want to be named, said: “We were about half way through clearing the yard when we came across the skeleton.

“It looked to me as if it had been there for a couple of years. I could see the fingers and the arm bone – there was no skin.

“You could also see the head and the teeth.

“The remains looked small – if I was asked I would say it’s an elderly person or youngish teenager.”

Last night it emerged Belfast City Council issued a public health notice against the vacant property last month after neighbours complained about a build-up of refuse at the rear of the building.

The house, which is surrounded by family homes, had been used by fly-tippers in recent months and locals had complained about a bad smell.

It is believed the council contacted the Housing Executive last month asking it to help clear and secure the property.

Contractors from Red Sky sent to the house then made the discovery in the back yard of the derelict dwelling. The house remained sealed-off last night as a police forensics team continued to carry out tests on the remains.

The PSNI said a full post-mortem will not be carried out until tomorrow at the earliest.

Locals said they were shocked by the find.

Ryan Pedlow said: “It is shocking that someone has been found in those circumstances, and it is very sad too. But I do feel safe living here despite this.”

Belfast City councillor Bob Stoker said the Donegall Road area. had a large transient population.

The UUP man added: “No-one has really noticed anyone missing as people move all the time, although the elderly are looked after within the area.”

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