Is This the Face of a Murder Victim?

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 30, 2002 | Go to article overview

Is This the Face of a Murder Victim?


Byline: TONY TRAINOR

THE face of mystery man who may have been murdered on a hillside more than 25 years ago was finally revealed yesterday. It is a mystery that has baffled detectives in the South Wales Val-leys since last September when fire-fighter Mike Davies discovered human remains while digging out the garden of his new home in Mountain Ash. Yesterday police revealed a life-size clay model of the man's face following painstaking work by scientists and artists who only had a few broken bones to go on. Police are now hoping someone mwill recognise the man and do not rule out the possibility of crime. Mr Davies made the discovery while excavating a mountain stream at the rear of his property in Forest View, part of a private housing es-tate on the hillside at Glenboi. Launching a fresh appeal to es-tablish the identity of the mystery man at Pontypridd Police Station yesterday, Detective Chief Inspect-or Graham Anthony said determ-ining the cause of death and solving the riddle of how parts of the body up buried in an embankment near a mountain stream will be the focus of further investigation. Mr Anthony declined to speculate on the circumstances of the death and said detectives were concen-trating their efforts on establishing the man's identity. Scientists have discovered an ex-traordinary amount of detailed in-formation from the existence of a few shattered bones. They know that the deceased was male and aged between 30 and 40 at the time of his death, which would have occurred at some time between 1960 and 1976. In other words, he was likely to have been born between 1930 and 1936. Although the remains of the lower jaw were missing and the recon-structed chin may be inaccurate, the clay head gives a reasonable impression of the man's face. "From what we are told, close relatives and friends should be able to identify the person from the re-constructed head," said Mr An-thony. He said the presence of "a no-ticeable gap" behind the right canine tooth was a helpful clue, as it would have been apparent whenever the man smiled. Just as remarkable was the dis-covery of an abscess on the left side of the upper jaw, which would usu-ally have required treatment. Left unattended, it would undoubtedly have been painful. "I would expect them to have sought out medical treatment," said Mr Anthony. The untreated abscess lends weight to the notion that the man may have been homeless or des-titute, a theory the police have not dismissed. Mr Anthony said an examination of the limbs - including a thigh bone or femur, an upper arm bone or humerus, and a pair of shin bones, the fibula and tibia - was helpful in determining the man's overall height. …

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