THE NET appears to be closing in on ‘Neil Dovestone’ thanks to good old fashioned detective work and ground-breaking science.
As the Independent went to press, police hoped a seven-month quest to identify the mystery man found on a track leading to Chew Reservoir, is drawing to a close.
Fingerprints taken from the body a few days after his death on December 12 have been sent for comparison with those on record with the national database of Pakistan.
Blue sutures recovered from Neil’s leg are being examined to narrow down the numbers of hospitals where an operation took place to repair a broken femur.
And lead detective, DC John Coleman, has also engaged an isotope analyis expert in Holland to study hair and bone regeneration to determine areas where the unknown man lived at various stages of his life.
“It is quite unique and only been done once or twice in the UK before,” he confirmed of the ‘you are what you eat’ theory.
In addition, a new probe has been launched into a rare operation that saw a 10cm titanium plate fixed to the femur in one of 15 Pakistani hospitals.
“We have a team of international liaison officers in Pakistan re-visiting the company who made the titanium plate and also working with the National Crime Agency to visit the hospitals in question and to generate press interest over there,” explained DC Coleman.
“Every single person in Pakistan has to have fingerprints taken to obtain an ID card. To travel and to get a passport you have to have an ID card.
“We know this guy has travelled from Pakistan to the UK and if he is Pakistani then he will be on their database.”
In addition, bone specialist, Professor David Mangham, has indicated Neil’s operation took place between 2001 and 2013. And investigations reveal the titanium plate only has one hole for a fixing screw yet a secondary screw has been discovered.
He added: “I asked the question has anyone in the Royal Society gone back to Pakistan as a consultant and he has identified someone to me.
“As this operation is so unique, the specialist and the staff who were present at the operation, even if it was 20 years ago, would recall it.
“So, we are sending a copy of the X ray to the Pakistani equivalent of the Royal Society to put round all their members.”
Neil was found with £130 in cash and three train tickets in his pocket. A post-mortem examination revealed he had suffered strychnine poisoning.