Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsSo with all the reports that the pathologist had come through and all these other specialists that had come through, it didn't put the investigation any way forward. The SIO at that point was at a crossroads. And basically, there was nothing more that we could find. There were no missing persons that matched this description, even out in the press, nothing came back as far as who this particular male could be. So one of the things that the SIO came up with is contacting an anthropologist, which was Martin Evison. Obviously they had conversations. They didn't have much they could work with. All really they had was the skull and wisps of hair.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 secondsBut all the SIO had actually said at that point is it needed to be as accurate as possible. Because we needed at least somebody to come forward and say, this is whoever.

Next week: reconstructing the face

The body in the bag was found in January 2000, but by March that year, the police were no closer to identifying Mr. X and moving the investigation forward.

The pathologist, botanist and the odontologist had gleaned as much information as they could from the body and from the bag. Despite this information, there was nothing that could positively identify who this person was.

When post-mortem deterioration makes it difficult to identify the dead, forensic facial reconstruction can hold the key to a positive identification.

Robert Varey from South Yorkshire Police had been discussing the possibility of producing a facial approximation with the pathologist Professor Martin Evison and had asked Martin if he would attempt this as a last resort in the case.

In this video, Nicola explains why a forensic facial reconstruction was the next step in moving the investigation forward.

This is the point we’ll return to in Week 2 of the course. If you’d like to continue your investigation, you can head to Week 2 now.

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This video is from the free online course:

Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X

The University of Sheffield