It’s been three months since a human skull was found in a wooded area in Bolton – but it is still not known who the deceased man is, or how he died.
The human remains were discovered outside an abandoned former hotel, in Egerton, just after midnight on March 1.
A couple, who describe themselves as paranormal investigators, came across the skull in a wooded area down a track a few hundred metres from Blackburn Road.
The shocked eyewitnesses called police to the scene at around 12.20am that morning, and have since been assisting investigators with their enquiries.
At the time, they claimed that an army style jacket was found close to the remains.
Forensic investigators scoured the undergrowth surrounding the derelict hotel.
However Greater Manchester Police (GMP) now say no further items of evidence were retrieved.
A police cordon, stretching across part of the former hotel and the surrounding woodland, was in place for a number of days with officers standing guard.
In the days that followed, police sent the skull for DNA assessments.
Two weeks later, detectives reported that the skull was likely to be that of a male.
It was also likely to be less than 50 years old, they said.
But the exact age of the deceased person is still not known.
His identity and how he met his end also remains unclear.
Investigators are keeping an open mind. But detectives seem certain that the death does not relate to any ongoing investigation.
Enquiries into whether the man’s death is linked to any known missing person are ongoing.
Responding to a request for an update this week, a GMP spokesman said the investigation is ongoing.
“Forensics are yet to determine the age of the person or how they died,” they said.
“It is still not being linked to any other investigation and enquiries are ongoing as to whether it’s linked to a missing person but there is nothing to suggest this either way at the moment.
“Nothing was found close to the scene that has provided any further evidential lines of enquiry.
“No one has been charged in relation to this incident.”
Police were called to a report of a ‘suspicious item’ being found off Blackburn Road at around 12.35am on Monday March 1.
Officers attended and found what they described as “possible human remains” in the undergrowth outside the hotel.
A cordon was put in place and police were alerted and a search of the undergrowth surrounding the derelict hotel continued for several days.
At the time, Detective Inspector Debbie Hurst, of Greater Manchester Police’s Bolton CID, said it was a “very surprising discovery”.
“We have been working ever since to establish the circumstances here,” she said.
“What we do know is that the item found has been confirmed to be a human skull, but it is still unknown how old the skull is and how long it has been at the location for.
« These enquiries by specialist forensic officers are ongoing and will be determined in due course.
“By the very nature of this discovery, we do understand some concern in the community and of course the sheer intrigue that this investigation brings with it, however we are confident that there is no threat to the public and that this isn’t currently linked to any other ongoing investigations.
“We are keen to establish the facts as soon as we can but the work that is ongoing must be conducted thoroughly and properly before we get to that stage.
“If anyone has any information about this discovery that could aid our enquiries we ask that they make contact with police.”