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Mystery as human skull found in woodland near Wynyard
10:56am Saturday 21st December 2013 in News
POLICE are investigating after a human skull was found by a member of the public in woodland on Teesside earlier this month.
Officers were called to the scene, in a heavily wooded area near Wynyard, Billingham at about 3pm on Wednesday, December 11.
A cordon was put in place and officers began an investigation alongside an anthropologist.
The following day, during a site visit by officers and forensic teams, five pieces of vertebrae were also found.
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: "Initial investigations have determined that the bones are believed to be that of a man; possibly in his 40s and that he died around four or five years ago.
"There are no signs of head trauma and the teeth are all intact and in good condition.
"Cadaver dogs visited the site on Wednesday, December 18 as part of an extensive and detailed search.
"Police have also carried out fingertip searches of the area; however nothing further has been recovered."
Detectives are said to be keeping an open mind as to the reasons why the bones may have been at the location.
Detective Inspector Mark Dimelow said: “A key part of this investigation is to find out who this man is and tests are currently being carried out.
“It’s currently unexplained how the bones came to be at the location and I don’t wish to speculate on what could have happened.
"It also wouldn’t be right to automatically assume something sinister has occurred, we’re keeping an open mind until we can establish the facts.”
DNA tests are currently being carried out to try and identify the man.
Officers will also be speaking to local forces about any outstanding missing people who match the descriptions given by the anthropologist.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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