Football boy discovers a human skull by patio

A MURDER inquiry has been launched following the discovery of a buried skull by a teenager while playing football in his grandparents’ garden.

Jack Grant, 13, was having a kickabout with two friends when the ball became lodged beneath rubble from a cleared hedgerow on the edge of the rural farmhouse.

But as the youngster bent to retrieve the ball, he saw the skull staring back at him! Rather than being startled, however, Jack picked it up and raced into the house to show it to his stunned grandmother.

Gillian Medlam, 59, thought, initially, that the skull might belong to a dog, or another animal, but her husband Charles, a farmer for four decades, told her: “That’s human – phone the police.”

The skull, and some half-a-dozen bones, were found in the small hamlet of Swaithe, near Barnsley. And South Yorkshire Police confirmed that the discovery was being treated as a murder investigation, as they awaited DNA samples from the bones, to confirm the victim’s identity.

Stunned locals described the discovery as “just like Midsomer Murders” as a forensic archaeologist and a specialist criminal anthropologist examined the skeletal remains at the scene, before they were removed for a post-mortem examination.

Corn farmer Mr Medlam, 64, revealed that, in recent months, he has been cutting back the hedgerow on agricultural land he manages, adjacent to his home.

He said: “I’ve been clearing it since last year. I cut it six feet in October and scraped the ground. Then, on Sunday, at about 2pm, my grandson Jack was playing football with two pals on the patio when he found a skull.

“I’d come home for a sandwich and he brought the skull into the house, where we’ve lived for 41 years, and he didn’t seem bothered.”

South Yorkshire Police confirmed that the discovery was being treated as a murder investigation

Det Chief Insp Martin Tate said early tests showed that the skull belonged to a male, and that the death appeared to have been within the last 20 years.

The inspector said they were also trying to establish whether the bones had been buried, and had been disturbed by Mr Medlam’s tractor, or if they had been hidden beneath the hedge more recently.

He added: “This is not historic, and we have carbon-dating to do. “The process will be lengthy, but we treating it as a murder inquiry. We have got people who are missing in the local area, and that is clearly one of our key lines of inquiry. The skull was not entirely complete.

“There have been around half-a-dozen bones found, subsequently, although some of them will be animal bones, given the nature of the land. But we will look at all our records going back years to try to work out who it is.”

One shocked neighbour, aged 81, who did not want to be named, said: “I have lived here for 35 years and nothing like this has ever happened before. This is just like Midsomer Murders.”

The police are believed to be working on several, potential theories, including the suspected murder of Edmund Neil Spencer, who vanished in 2001 and has never been found.

They are also probing the murder of Thomas Groome, 53, who disappeared in 2010. Jason Thaxter, 39, of Doncaster, is serving life in prison for his murder.

Short URL:

Posted by on Feb 9 2018. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google


Log in | Designed by SortedSites