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Police share major update on mysterious death of ‘spy in the bag’

Police share major update on mysterious death of ‘spy in the bag’

Gareth Williams was found dead inside a zipped and padlocked holdall in his London flat in August 2010

Police have shared a major update on the mysterious death of an MI6 agent that has baffled investigators for more than a decade.

The body of Gareth Williams, 31, was found decomposing in a zipped and padlocked holdall inside the bath in his London flat back in August 2010.

Police made the horror discovery after his colleagues raised concerns that they had not heard from him in several days.

Officers stumbled across the grisly scene in the en-suite bathroom of the Welsh cryptologist's bedroom after finding a red, padlocked bag sitting inside the bathtub.

Williams' naked body was stuffed inside, while the key to the padlock was underneath him.

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.

Gareth Williams' mysterious death has baffled police for over a decade.
Metropolitan Police

The investigation determined that there was no evidence of Williams' fingerprints on the padlock, which was outside the bag, or on the rim of the bath.

There was also no sign of forced entry at his government-rented home in the UK capital, although inconclusive fragments of DNA components from at least two other contributors were discovered on the holdall.

An inquest in 2012 ruled that the MI6 employee's 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, the Metropolitan Police called time on the investigation, believing it was probably accidental.

A review into the puzzling case was later launched in June 2021, as the force announced that forensic evidence would be re-examined.

It was hoped that the advances in science and technology would potentially prove useful in studying evidence, such as a hair found at the scene, to reveal more details about the mystery.

The MI6 agent seen on CCTV at Holland Park Tube station before his death.

Scotland Yard have now revealed that the forensic review of the case has concluded without the emergence of any new leads or any new DNA evidence to suggest that someone else was in his apartment when he died.

The senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, said: "Since 2010 the Met has carried out extensive enquiries into Gareth’s death.

"An independent forensic review began in January 2021 and we received the findings in November 2023.

"No new DNA evidence was found and no further lines of enquiry were identified. We have informed Gareth’s family of the outcome and our thoughts remain with them."

The Met said any further information or evidence will be reviewed by police.

A host of theories surrounding Williams' death - which has been dubbed one of the 'strangest unsolved UK mysteries' - have been put forward, although his loved ones are still searching for answers almost 14 years on.

His family said in 2013 that they believed the coroner's suggestion that there was foul play involved 'accurately reflected the circumstances' and they stood by the statement.

Featured Image Credit: Metropolitan Police

Topics: Crime, True Crime, UK News, News