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.”
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.
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.
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.
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