Mystery body to be laid to rest

How the County Gazette reported the story last year

How the County Gazette reported the story last year

First published in News by

THE remains of an unknown asylum seeker whose murdered corpse was found in wrapped in dustbin liners on Exmoor are to be buried in an Islamic ceremony at Watchet.

A Islamic religious leader is to conduct the graveside ceremony at Watchet cemetery on Tuesday.

Despite pleas for information from the senior police officer leading the four-year, £120,000 investigation into one of West Somerset's most grisly murders, and extensive enquiries both nationally and internationally, officers have been unable to uncovering the identity of the man, who died a violent death.

The body, wearing just underwear and Adidas shorts, was found wrapped in black bin bags near Halse Lane on the slopes of Winsford Hill by a passing horse rider on March 13, 2002.

It was initially mistaken for a dumped animal carcass and retrieved by Devon and Somerset Stag Hounds for disposal.

At an inquest in December last year police said the man, aged between 26 and 36, who could have been Turkish or Indian, could have been stabbed in a brawl.

West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose said the man was "almost certainly" an illegal immigrant.

"I think there are several people who are aware of the circumstances and have not come forward," he said.

A gold necklace bearing a script from the Koran was found on his body, leading officers to believe he had been a Muslim.

In an effort to identify the body, police trawled national and international missing persons databases threw up 2,366 individuals, of which 2,357 had been discounted.

The man had probably been killed in 1999 and kept in a dry place for more than two years before being dumped.

Mr Rose said: "In all my 40 years of experience I have never known a case where a body has remained unidentified.

A spokesman for West Somerset Council said it fell to the council to make funeral arrangements and pay for the burial in cases where relatives or friends could not be found.

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