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Finding Mr. X: So what did we know?

A summary of the information the pathologist and specialists found from their first examination of the remains of Mr. X.
© The University of Sheffield

Forensic anatomy expertise had enabled the South Yorkshire Police to build a preliminary picture of Mr. X.

From the bones and wisps of hair found in the bag, an osteological examination by Professor Martin Evison was able to determine the following details about this unknown person’s identity:

Sex Male
Age Most likely in his fifties
Height 5’4-5’8
Ethnicity Middle Eastern or North African, most likely from Yemen.
Hair colour Dark
Medical history Operation on his feet; bunions removed. Flattened teeth; probably from chewing khat.
Occupation Likely something physical that entailed flexing his right arm repeatedly.
Time of death The body had become what is known as an ‘adipocerous mummy’, where the skin becomes waxy and soap like, indicating that the body had been “stored” in a cool moist environment for a number of years.

Although the skeleton and skull had revealed much about Mr. X, the police had reached an impasse in their investigation. No missing persons report matched this description and there had been no response to information about Mr. X in the media.

Who was he? Why did he die? Where had the body been stored all of this time?

© The University of Sheffield
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Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X

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