Murder hunt begins after three bodies are found at Beachy Head

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The Independent Online

Police launched a murder inquiry yesterday after the discovery of three bodies at the foot of Beachy Head, one of which had suffered multiple stab wounds and had its hands and feet bound.

Police launched a murder inquiry yesterday after the discovery of three bodies at the foot of Beachy Head, one of which had suffered multiple stab wounds and had its hands and feet bound.

Sussex police and coastguard teams have been working since early yesterday to recover the bodies from the notorious suicide spot.

The bodies were first spotted on rocks by a police helicopter on Friday. There were originally thought to have been four bodies, but later it emerged that one had broken up.

A police spokesman said that the body found bound was that of a black man around 5ft 8ins tall, with afro hairstyle and a full beard, and aged between 20 and 30.

"His hands and feet were bound together and a plastic bag was over his head," said the spokesman.

"Operation Dundee has been set up to investigate the murder. We urgently need to identify this man and would ask anyone with information to contact us."

The investigation is being headed by DCI Tony O'Donnell. The Home Office pathologist who conducted the post-mortem examination found that the man died from multiple stab wounds.

The spokesman added that there was currently nothing to link the bound body with the other two and work was continuing to identify them.

Officers believe the bodies had been in the water varying lengths of time, based on the fact they were in different stages of decomposition.

The bodies were spotted beneath the 500ft-high chalk cliffs on Friday afternoon by a police helicopter patrolling the coastline. The police spokesman had earlier cautioned against assuming that they were suicide victims washed up by large waves.