MI6 employee's death is one of the biggest unsolved cases in British history
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**Warning: Contains descriptions some may find upsetting.**
The death of MI6 employee Gareth Williams has been branded one of the 'strangest unsolved UK mysteries' after his body was discovered in 2010.
Police were alerted to Williams' case after his colleagues noted he had been out of contact for several days, prompting authorities to conduct a welfare check at his home in London in August 2010.
When they arrived at the property, police discovered a red, padlocked bag sitting inside the bathtub in the en-suite of Williams' bedroom. Inside was Williams' body, naked and decomposing.
Coroner Fiona Wilcox determined there were no injuries on Williams' body, and no signs he had been involved in a struggle. His system was also free of alcohol and common recreational drugs.
An investigation into the scene determined there was no evidence of Williams' fingerprints on the padlock, which was outside the bag, or on the rim of the bath. A key to the padlock was found underneath the 31-year-old's body inside the bag.
Inconclusive fragments of DNA components from at least two other contributors were discovered on the bag, though a forensic examination concluded there was no sign of forced entry into Williams' home.
A 2012 inquest said the death was 'unnatural and likely to have been criminally mediated', with authorities noting a lack of hand and footprints in the bathroom as 'significant', but a year later detectives with the Metropolitan police ended the investigation, believing Williams' death to be accidental.
The questions that remain about Williams' death prompted it to be included in a Reddit thread, which questioned: "What is the strangest unsolved UK mystery?"
In June 2021, the Met police confirmed that forensic evidence relating to the death of Williams would be re-examined, with advances in science potentially proving useful in studying evidence, such as a hair found in Williams' hand, to reveal more details about the mystery.
Hamish Campbell, the Met’s Head of Homicide at the time of the murder, explained: "It takes time, but a decade has passed and the ability to extract DNA sampling from smaller amounts, and to enhance the material that was there back then, has increased.
"The limited DNA profiling which already exists can now be enhanced to deliver a more meaningful profile, because at the time it was insignificant and didn't really help anybody. Also, there is always value in having another look at whether a DNA sample comes up on the database, because someone could have been arrested in the meantime.”
At the time, a Met spokesperson explained there was an 'established review process for investigations' in which new information or forensic opportunities are 'considered'.
"The Met is currently undertaking a forensic review to assess whether there are any new investigative opportunities in this case and we await its outcome," the spokesperson said. "We remain in close contact with Gareth's family to ensure they are fully supported."
More than a decade after Williams' death, the public are still waiting for answers as to what actually happened.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
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Topics: UK News, Crime, True Crime