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Man who discovered 'skull' claims to have evidence he found Keith Bennett's grave after police search ends

Dominic Smithers

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Man who discovered 'skull' claims to have evidence he found Keith Bennett's grave after police search ends

The amateur sleuth who found a 'skull' on Saddleworth Moor says he has 'evidence' that he uncovered the remains of a missing murder victim after the police called off its search.

For almost 60 years, Keith Bennett's family have searched desperately for answers in the hope they would recover the remains of the 12-year-old who was abducted and murdered by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964.

And last week, Russell Edwards alerted Greater Manchester Police after he spotted what he thought was a child's jaw bone and teeth in a photograph he had taken in the area.

For the past seven days teams of specialist officers, acting on that photo, and searching the site, combing every blade of grass.

However, following the extensive excavation near Dovestone Reservoir, police called an end to the search, claiming they found nothing.

Police spent a week searching for the remains of Keith Bennett. Credit: PA Images/Alamy
Police spent a week searching for the remains of Keith Bennett. Credit: PA Images/Alamy

Following the announcement, Mr Edwards told LADbible that the police messed up the investigation and that he has 'evidence' he was right all along.

He said: "The GMP’s statement today is, of course, disappointing, but unsurprising, given that they reduced their timing of excavations and analysis from several weeks to just seven days.

"My own team of specialist archaeologists, including Dawn Keen, confirmed that I did find part of an upper jawbone, several teeth, including one molar, all in the correct positions relative to each other, adipose tissue, and fragments of material, all visible (under magnification) in photographs taken at the site.

"The geochemist from Northumbria University, Lesley Dunlop, who extracted the soil from the site, confirmed today that the very high levels of calcium could only be derived from human bones, which after 58 years in peat have chemically been broken down. She retains those soil samples and some of the adipose tissue for further analysis.

Russell Edwards claims he has 'evidence' he found the skull of Keith Bennett. Credit: ITV News
Russell Edwards claims he has 'evidence' he found the skull of Keith Bennett. Credit: ITV News

"I don’t believe the police have sifted the soil painstakingly enough, or they would have found the evidence.

"The site itself is now thoroughly compromised and destroyed, but I have evidence enough to prove I did find the grave of Keith Bennett."

Bennett was last seen on 16 June, 1964, and his killers have never revealed the whereabouts of his body.

He was one of five people murdered by Brady and Hindley between 1963 and 1965.

Despite Bennett's mother, Winnie, pleading with them to tell her where her son was buried, they never gave him up.

In a statement confirming an end to the search, Detective Chief Inspector Cheryl Hughes said this didn't mean an end to the investigation into Bennett's murder.

She said: "We are thankful for their continued support of our ongoing enquiries. The Cold Case Review Unit, supported by specialist officers and staff from across Greater Manchester Police as well as experts from accredited partner agencies, have now completed the search of the area of interest on Saddleworth Moor.

"At this time, there is no evidence of the presence of human remains."

Brady and Hindley were sentenced to life in prison for their crimes, with Brady dying in 2017 and Hindley in 2002.

Featured Image Credit: PA/Alamy

Topics: UK News, Crime, True Crime

Dominic Smithers
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