Police try to ID cold case bodies

Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:33 AM
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OXFORD, England, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The Thames Valley Police, which covers a large swath of south-central England, is trying to close eight cases of "unexplained death" going back to 1973.

Operation Nightingale is aimed at identifying the bodies and trying to provide information for families who do not know what has happened to missing relatives, the Bucks Free Press reported.

One of the oldest cases involves a man killed by a truck in Iver, a town in southwest Buckinghamshire on the edge of the London metropolitan area, on May 30, 1973. The man was described as Arabic in appearance and somewhere between 30 and 45 in age.

He walked in front of the truck, and investigators were unsure at the time if his death was a suicide or an accident.

On Aug. 22, 2007, a man's body was found in a shed on an estate in Hedgerley in southern Buckinghamshire, so decomposed the cause of death could not be determined. Investigators said the body could have been in the shed for up to two years.

Another man was found dead in the Jubilee River, a Thames flood-control channel, in 2004. Police pursued almost 50 leads in an effort to identify him, but all proved to be dead ends.

The Thames Valley Police, made famous by the Inspector Morse and Inspector Lewis television dramas, cover Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. It is the largest non-metropolitan police force in the country.

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