A MYSTERY has captivated a community as police appeal to find out the circumstances around the death of an unidentified man at a Greenfield beauty spot.
Officers are slowly piecing together information to solve the case after the body was found on Saturday, December 12 on the Chew track leading from Dovestone Reservoir boating lake to Indians Head.
Although there are no suspicious circumstances around the death, police have released grainy CCTV images and footage in an appeal for clues.
Building up a time-line of the man’s last 24 hours, they have CCTV footage of him boarding a tube train at Ealing Broadway in London at around 9am on Friday, December 11.
He was wearing a heavy brown jacket, blue jumper, white long-sleeved open-necked shirt, blue corduroy trousers and polished, black slip-on shoes.
He is described as being white, of slim build, had a receding hairline with grey hair to the side and back, had a large nose and was clean shaven.
He bought a single journey ticket, costing £4.80 cash, to Euston Station where he then paid £81.50 cash for a return rail ticket, valid for a month, to Manchester Piccadilly.
He caught the 10am train to Manchester Piccadilly, arriving at 12.05pm, and is caught on camera walking backwards and forwards between retail outlets at the station for 53 minutes.
During that time, police believe he bought food at one of the outlets and then spent four minutes at an inquiry counter, leaving the station at 1.03pm by the main station approach.
This was the beginning of his journey to Saddleworth but as yet, detectives have drawn a blank trying to establish his mode of transport.
At around 2pm, the man called in at The Clarence, Greenfield, a popular watering hole for tourists and walkers.
Pub landlord Mel Robinson, 58, said: “He asked me ‘the way to the mountains’ and I directed him to Dovestone, via the route at Fletchers Mill.”
At around 4.30pm, the RSPB’s site manager at Dovestone, Dave O’Hara, said wardening staff passed a man standing at the side of the Chew Reservoir private road.
He was about two thirds of the way up the track toward Chew Reservoir and this appears to be the last sighting of the man alive.
The following morning a cyclist from Chadderton discovered the man’s body, laying on his back on the steep gradient at the side of the track.
And he mystery deeps because, apart from the three rail tickets, the man had no identification or possessions in his pockets other than £130 in £10 notes.
Since then, Oldham CID’s Detective Sergeant John Coleman and Detective constable Nichola Chapman, with a police team, have been patiently trying to piece together the jigsaw.
“I find it impossible to believe he’s not known to someone,” said Sgt Coleman.
“We are exploring every avenue to try and find someone, somewhere who knows him so we can bring closure to these tragic circumstances.”
“We are seeking someone who recognises his picture to contact us.”
Theories as to why the man was visiting the lonely moor include rekindling a journey made as a child or a sentimental trip to where ashes are laid.
Anyone who recognises this man or has any information should phone police on 0161 872 5050 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.