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Police bid to identify 1,000 bodies

More than 1,000 unidentified bodies found across England and Wales over the past 50 years could be named as a result of a sweeping cold case review.

Police said they want to "put an end to the story" for many families left bereft by the disappearance of loved ones who have never been traced.

Officers have launched a £50,000 review using the latest forensic techniques and public appeals aimed at putting names on the files of non-suspicious deaths.

Officers released sketches of the faces of 18 men and two women found dead on the railways and London Tube network to mark the first stage of the operation.

They were found dead as a result of suicide, accidents and natural causes in London, Hertfordshire, Sussex, Coventry, Essex and Cornwall over the past 35 years.

The appeal was the result of a review by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), which is responsible for the missing persons' bureau, and British Transport Police (BTP).

Detective Chief Superintendent Miles Flood, of BTP, said up to 300 people are found dead on the railway network every year, many of them itinerants.

He said: "We have obviously fully investigated these cases. There is nothing suspicious about the deaths. These are people who died from natural causes or other means.

"For me, as a professional police officer, I do not like unsolved cases and although every case was investigated and every clue followed up, we have been unable to do so.

"We are now taking another look to see if there is more we can do with advances in forensic science and through public appeals like this to identify them."


From Belfast Telegraph