Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Norfolk : Human Remains Found...

Whenever I hear of human remains finds, I always think - Claudia Lawrence

HUMAN remains have been discovered in woodland on the Sandringham Estate, the Queen’s country retreat in Norfolk.

An investigation was launched after a dog walker discovered the remains at 4pm on New Year’s Day just a mile from the Royal Stud and less than two miles from the estate’s main residence.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who are currently staying on the 20,000-acre (8,000-hectare) estate for their Christmas break, were informed of the discovery on Monday night.

The body was discovered shortly after the Royals attended a church service on Sunday.

Police said that a “detailed search” was being carried throughout the area of woodland in Anmer, near King’s Lynn, which is east of Sandringham House....read more 



In 2007 Mr Moore arrived in Britain from the United States, where he had previously been in trouble with the police for drink-driving.

The US Embassy in London had a record of him taking a taxi to its headquarters in Grosvenor Square, where he asked for help to pay a fine. Staff had put him in touch with a Mr Fiorentino in the US, who Mr Moore claimed would wire him the cash.

But he is not thought to have been arrested in London, and he only came to the attention of the authorities long after his death.

In the afternoon of March 15th this year, a gardener working on behalf of the Royal Parks arrived at West Island, a tree-covered piece of land at the end of St James’s Park that is nearest to Buckingham Palace whose usual residents are wildfowl.

After clearing away some leaves, the tree surgeon uncovered Mr Moore’s skeleton, next to some vodka bottles and a decayed yellow cushion.

The only way to reach the small island is by swimming or wading across the shallow lake, or by taking a boat, but it is only about 100 yards from the entrance to Buckingham Palace and thousands of tourists and Londoners walk past it every day.

Police were called and initially ruled his death suspicious, but tests could not find any evidence of injury and the age of the remains meant that no cause of death could be established. A pathologist estimated that the skull and bones had been on the island for about three years.

Det Sgt West said: “There was some build-up, which would have taken some time. With that great an amount of mulch on the remains it would have taken between two and three years to accumulate.”

Mr Moore had apparently attached one of his alcohol bottles to himself to prevent it being stolen.

The policeman said: “There was a green bottle attached to a belt attached to a safety pin attached to string.

“This was a new one to me, but after inquiries with our Homeless Persons Unit I was informed that street drinkers will do this so that if someone tries to remove the alcohol from them while they are asleep it will wake them up and they can fend off the person.”

Several forms of identification were found in Mr Moore’s pockets, including a US passport that matched the copy once sent to the Queen.

But no relatives could be found and Mr Moore was not on any missing persons lists.

The coroner, Dr Fiona Wilcox, said: “If ever next of kin of this gentleman are discovered I would hope my sympathies will be passed on for their loss.”

The coroner, who commented on the “excellent, unimpeded view of the palace” enjoyed from the island, gave a verdict of “unascertained” cause of death.

Buckingham Palace would only say: “This is a police matter.”

It is thought that senior members of the Royal household would have been unaware of Mr Moore’s obsession, as their mail is screened and anything suspicious is sent to the Metropolitan Police.

Scotland Yard would not say if Mr Moore was known to the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre, which was on high alert for lone obsessives ahead of this year’s Royal wedding in April.

A spokesman for The Royal Parks said: “The Royal Parks is saddened that this incident has occurred. The body was found in thick undergrowth on an island that is reserved for wildlife and that is not accessible to the public.

“This island is checked by Wildlife Officers three times a year, however work to prune trees and to inspect it closely is carried out every two years - it was during one of these inspections that the discovery was made. Going forward we are planning to carry out thorough inspections on a more regular basis.”
On Sunday, the only things visible on West Island were a wooden bird table and a yellow plastic hosepipe.

But a homeless man who sleeps rough in St James’s Park said it was not uncommon for people to swim over to the island.

Jason Harris, 52, said: “Quite a few do it. They take their clothes off, put them in a plastic bag and swim over there.”

He had not heard of Mr Moore's demise or of the police stopping people from going on the island, however.

“The police can't get at them.”

The case has revived memories of that of a Frenchwoman who was obsessed with George V and stood for hours outside Buckingham Palace, believing that the king was sending her signals by moving the curtains.

It led to the coining of the term de Clérambault's syndrome to describe a person's delusion that a famous person is in love with them, named after the psychiatrist who studied her, and was mentioned in Ian McEwan's novel Enduring Love.