Police close the dig scene after searching for the remains of Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett

Author Russell Edwards had told police he believed he had found the makeshift grave of 12-year-old Keith Bennett, who was murdered by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964 (Image: PA).

Author Russell Edwards had told police he believed he had found the makeshift grave of 12-year-old Keith Bennett, who was murdered by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964 (Image: PA).

A police scene on Saddleworth Moor where experts were searching for the body of Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett has been shut down.

Forensic experts had searched the premises looking for the student’s body.

But despite investigations, there was no evidence of human remains.

This afternoon Greater Manchester Police confirmed the search scene would now be closed.

Deputy Police Commissioner Sarah Jackson said: “Our actions over the past week or so are a highly visible example of what that response looks like, with the force utilizing the knowledge and skills of accredited experts, specialist officers and staff.

“It is these accredited experts and specialists that have brought us to the point where we can say that despite thorough searches of the crime scene and ongoing analysis of samples taken by both us and third parties, there is currently no evidence of its existence.” human remains at or near the identified site on Saddleworth Moor.

“However, I want to make it clear that our investigation to find answers for Keith’s family is ongoing.”

Undated handout file photo by Keith Bennett. Police investigating the death of the victim of the Moors killings are investigating the reported discovery of a human skull. The 12-year-old was one of five victims of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, three of whom were later buried on Saddleworth Moor. Issue date: Friday September 30, 2022. PA Photo. The schoolboy's body was never found following his disappearance in 1964 and 48 years later his mother, Winnie Johnson, died at the age of 78 without fulfilling her wish for him to be given a proper Christian burial. See PA story POLICE Moors. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only to concurrently depict events, things or people in the photo or facts mentioned in the photo caption. Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner.

The student’s body was never found following his disappearance in 1964 (Image: PA)

Archaeologists began searching the area last week after author Russell Edwards said he thinks he’s found the makeshift grave of 12-year-old Keith, who was murdered by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964.

The Daily Mail reported that Mr Edwards believed he had found the boy’s remains following an “extensive soil analysis”.

It is said that he then began his own excavation – near where the other victims of the Murder of the Moors were found – and uncovered a skull with teeth.

Mr Edwards had told BBC Radio Manchester he was “not wasting anyone’s time” and was “convinced” Keith’s body was with the Moors.

Greater Manchester Police officers search for the remains of 12-year-old Keith Bennett, one of five victims of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, on Saddleworth Moor in north-west England. Picture date: Monday October 3, 2022. PA Photo. Police investigating the death of the victim of the Moors killings are investigating the reported discovery of a human skull. The schoolboy's body was never found following his disappearance in 1964 and 48 years later his mother, Winnie Johnson, died at the age of 78 without fulfilling her wish for him to be given a proper Christian burial. See PA story POLICE Moors. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The discovery of a human skull had sparked a massive search for the Moors (Image: PA)

Keith was last seen by his mother in the early evening of 16 June 1964, after leaving his home in Eston Street, Longsight, Manchester, en route to his grandmother’s house nearby.

Brady and Hindley murdered five people in all, and three were later found buried on Saddleworth Moor.

The victims were: Pauline Reade, 16, who disappeared on July 12, 1963 on her way to a disco; John Kilbride, 12, who was kidnapped in November of the same year; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, who was lured away from a carnival on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, who was axed in October 1965.

Brady and Hindley were caught after Edward’s murder and the bodies of Lesley and John were recovered from the moor.

They were taken to Saddleworth Moor to help police locate the remains of the other victims, but only Pauline’s body was recovered.

Undated file photos of Moors killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. Police investigating the death of Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett are investigating the reported discovery of a human skull. The 12-year-old was one of five Brady and Hindley victims, three of whom were later found buried on Saddleworth Moor. Issue date: Friday September 30, 2022. PA Photo. The schoolboy's body was never found following his disappearance in 1964 and 48 years later his mother, Winnie Johnson, died at the age of 78 without fulfilling her wish for him to be given a proper Christian burial. See PA story POLICE Moors. Photo credit should read: PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only to simultaneously illustrate events, things or people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner.

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley have never revealed the location of Keith’s body (Image: PA)

Brady claimed he couldn’t remember where he buried Keith.

In 2009, police said an undercover search of the bog, involving a plethora of scientific experts, also found no trace of the boy.

Hindley died in prison in 2002 at the age of 60 and Brady died in a maximum security hospital in 2017 at the age of 79.

In 2012 – 48 years after Keith’s death – his mother, Winnie Johnson, died at the age of 78 without complying with her wish for a Christian burial.

Greater Manchester Police will hold a press conference this afternoon to give more information about the dig.

OLDHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 01: A memorial to Winnie Johnson and Keith Bennett on Saddleworth Moor as police dig up the moor for the first time in 35 years after murder victim Keith Bennett to find suspected human remains on October 01, 2022 in Oldham to investigate, United Kingdom. Forensic officers from Greater Manchester Police are digging up Saddleworth Moor in search of 12-year-old Keith Bennett, 58 years after he was kidnapped by Moors killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. Keith Bennett is the only victim of the Moors murders who is never found. The 12-year-old was last seen on June 16, 1964, leaving his family home to stay with his grandmother. His mother, Winnie Johnson, who died in 2012, spent her life finding her son, even going into the moor herself with a spade. Extensive searches by the Moors resulted in the discovery of the bodies of Pauline Reade, 16, John Kilbride, 12, and Lesley Ann Downey, 10, but Keith's body was never found. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

A memorial to Winnie Johnson and Keith Bennett on Saddleworth Moor (Image: Getty Images)

Cheryl Hughes, Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector, said today: “The items given to us by the member of the public have been examined by a forensic scientist and while this does not yet indicate the presence of human remains, further analysis is required.

“Regarding the photo, we enlisted the help of a forensic botanist. We are now utilizing the knowledge and skills of a forensic imaging expert to attach a standard anthropological measurement to the object to aid in identification.

“At this stage the evidence suggests that it would be considerably smaller than a juvenile pine and it cannot be ruled out that it is plant based.

“Excavation and surveys at the site have been completed and to reiterate we have found no evidence that this is Keith Bennett’s burial site.”

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/10/07/police-close-dig-scene-after-search-for-remains-of-moors-murders-victim-keith-bennett-17523565/ Police close the dig scene after searching for the remains of Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett

Justin Scacco

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