Manhunt after two suitcases filled with human remains found at Clifton Suspension Bridge

11 July 2024, 13:07 | Updated: 11 July 2024, 14:05

A police incident has closed the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol
A police incident has closed the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

A hunt has been launched after a man 'acting suspiciously' dumped two suitcases containing human remains on Clifton Suspension Bridge.

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Avon and Somerset police said they were working to immediately locate the man and to identify the deceased victims.

The force arrived at the bridge around 10 minutes after reports of the man "acting suspiciously" but he had already left the area.

The man had left one suitcase behind and the second was by police nearby found shortly after.

The suspect arrived at the bridge by taxi just before midnight Thursday and the vehicle and driver were swiftly located to help with enquiries.

"Locating the man who left the suitcases and identifying the deceased are our priorities," police said in a statement.

Both cases contain what is believed to be human remains, the force said. Postmortem examinations are taking place today.

Police have closed Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol to pedestrians and cars in both directions
Police have closed Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol to pedestrians and cars in both directions. Picture: Alamy

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Forensics investigators in white suits were seen working behind a police cordon near the Clifton Suspension Bridge on Thursday afternoon.

A large cordon is in place, with the bridge and visitor centre expected to be closed throughout Thursday.

Acting Bristol Commander Vicks Hayward-Melen added: "This is a very disturbing incident and I fully recognise the concern it will be causing our communities.

“Our immediate priority is to locate the man who took the suitcases to the bridge, identify the deceased, and inform their next of kin."

A Police incident has closed the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol
A Police incident has closed the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. Picture: Alamy

She continued: “A search of the area was carried out on the ground with the support of the NPAS and HM Coastguard after the discovery. These searches remain ongoing.

"Initial enquiries have established the man was taken to the bridge in a taxi. This vehicle has been seized and the driver is helping us with our enquiries.

"Specialist crime scene investigators are currently examining the bridge and surrounding area and the bridge will remain closed while these enquiries are conducted. A forensic postmortem examination will take place later today (Thursday).

"These is currently an increased police presence in the area and anyone who has concerns is encouraged to speak to an officer."

Clifton Suspension Bridge is a Grade I listed landmark, stretching across the Avon Gorge. It was designed by noted Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and was opened in 1864.

Anyone with any information is asked to call emergency services on 101 and quote reference number 5224180010.

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