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Foul play 'not ruled out' in South Yorkshire human bones investigation

Human remains were found buried on land in Swaithe, Barnsley.
Human remains were found buried on land in Swaithe, Barnsley.
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Police say they are not ruling out foul play after a man's bones were found on land near a remote South Yorkshire village.

A crime scene on land off Mitchell's Street in Swaithe near Barnsley, remains in place as further excavation and ongoing forensic work is carried out.

The bones were discovered on the afternoon of Sunday, February 4, and extensive work has continued since this time to ascertain the circumstances, cause of death and identity of the deceased.

The remains are now believed to have been in situ for up to four-years and have been identified as an adult male.

Initial findings from the post mortem examination were inconclusive, with additional forensic analysis now underway and further tests to be conducted.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Tate investigating said: “We are still in a very early phase of this investigation and the scene is likely to remain in place over the coming weeks as work continues on the land.

“At this stage, we are still treating the death as unexplained. The area of discovery does raise concerns as it is rural and off the beaten track. While there hasn’t been any clear indicators at this time that signify an offence may have taken place, we most definitely are not ruling this out and there is still a vast amount of work to be done.

“Our priority is to focus on identifying this person and informing the family, as he will have been someone’s loved one and they need to be given the opportunity to come to terms with their loss.

“We are exploring all avenues of possibility and lines of enquiry to determine the exact circumstances, and I would ask anyone who believes they may have information, to please come forward by calling police on either 101, or Crimestopers on 0800 555111, quoting incident number 605 of 4 February 2018.”