Two more bodies found in garden: Missing persons' files scrutinised

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The Independent Online
THIRTY detectives were scouring missing persons' registers last night in an effort to narrow the search for the identities of two more bodies discovered in the garden of a house in Gloucester.

A senior Home Office pathologist was also trying to establish the age and sex of the remains of the two adults found at the back of the house where, on Saturday, officers discovered another body, thought to be that of Heather West, aged 16.

Her father Frederick West, 52, a builder, has been remanded in custody charged with her murder. His wife, Rosemary, 40, who was arrested with him, was released on police bail.

Detective Superintendent John Bennett, the officer leading the investigation, said yesterday that his team had a number of positive lines of inquiry focusing on areas outside Gloucestershire in relation to one of the freshly discovered remains. He declined to specify the regions, but said he believed both victims had been alive until 1978.

The remains were found on Monday evening by police digging in the 40ft by 15ft garden, two days after discovering the teenager's remains beneath the concrete patio of the run-down Victorian, three-storey house in Cromwell Road, Gloucester.

By yesterday officers had reached a depth of between three and five feet. But they left the new remains, which were discovered in separate areas, to be removed by Bernard Knight, a Home Office pathologist, who described his role as a 'archaeological-type' dig where the bones are catalogued and mapped. The house was also being examined.

Some bones and small articles have been removed and all the remains will be taken to the University of Cardiff for further examination in an effort to establish their identities through forensic science.

The other thrust of the inquiry will be to concentrate on Gloucester in the case of Heather, who lived with her parents until 1987.

It is thought DNA tests will be used.