Murder probe police confirm link in two-county body parts mystery

A HEAD found in Leicestershire is linked to the discovery of body parts in Hertfordshire, police confirmed this morning (Friday).It was discovered in a field near Asfordby on Tuesday. In Herts, the left leg of a man was discovered next to a layby on the

A HEAD found in Leicestershire is linked to the discovery of body parts in Hertfordshire, police confirmed this morning (Friday).

It was discovered in a field near Asfordby on Tuesday.

In Herts, the left leg of a man was discovered next to a layby on the A507 just outside Cottered on March 22. An arm was found on March 29 in a verge in Drovers Lane in Wheathampstead.

Det Supt Julia McKechnie from Leicestershire Constabulary said: "Tests have taken place which can confirm the human head found in Leicestershire is forensically linked to the body parts found in Hertfordshire."

She added that one murder investigation is now taking place in a joint operation by the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit and officers from Leicestershire Constabulary.

Det Chief Insp Michael Hanlon from the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: "At this stage the victim, an adult man, has not been identified. Officers from the investigating team will continue to meticulously check through missing person reports looking for a match of the description of the man, and this will include checking dental records. A full DNA profile has been obtained and is not matched on the National DNA Database. Examinations of the body parts have not concluded any cause of death at this stage.

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"Lines of enquiry which have come to light since the initial discovery are being followed up but at this stage no speculation can be made about how this man was murdered. I would like to appeal once again to anyone who may have any information which could assist our investigation to contact the incident room without delay."

The victim is believed to be a white or Asian adult man between 5ft 6ins and 5 ft 10ins tall. His shoe size is believed to be between a 7 and a 9. He also has a skin condition which has caused discolouration in the pigmentation of the skin around the ankle giving a "bleaching" effect. Examinations have concluded that the victim suffered from eczema which caused the skin to "scale".

It has been agreed that the officer in overall command of the investigation, called Operation Athena, will be Det Supt Andy Shrives from Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Major Crime.

Anyone with information about the murdered man or has seen any suspicious activity around the sites where the body parts have been found is asked to call the major crime unit on 0845 3300 222. To give information anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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