Human remains discovered in field revealed to be body of dad-of-six who went missing 56 years ago
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Human remains discovered in a UK field have been found to be those of a murdered miner who went missing 56 years ago. Police launched a major investigation after a farmer carrying out construction work with a JCB digger made the grim find in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire on April 26.
Nottinghamshire Police has since been working with a team of scientists to try and identify who the decomposed skeleton belonged to. And after the force issued a public appeal for information last month a man came forward to say his grandfather was reported missing nearby in 1967.
Russell Lowbridge was only four-years-old when Alfred Swinscoe disappeared after drinking at the Pinxton Miners Arms in Derbyshire. Family members had been waiting more than five decades for answers after Alfred, aged 54 at the time, went missing in “mysterious and unusual circumstances.”
DNA tests were carried out on Russell and Alfred’s son, now in his 70s, and matched against the bones exhumed from the ground. Police say they are now working to try and solve the 56-year-old murder riddle to bring the dad-of-six’s killer to justice.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin said: “I cannot imagine how distressing this must have been for Alfred’s family who have been waiting 56 years for answers. Some of Alfred’s family members are no longer alive and will have died never knowing what happened to their loved one that night.
“All they know is Alfred went to the pub one evening and then never came home. We know that Alfred was murdered.
“We know this because it is quite obvious that whoever did this buried him in Coxmoor Road in the hope that no one would find him. Despite this being a crime that happened more than 50 years ago this will not stop us from using all the investigative skills at our disposal to find those responsible.
“We would like to thank the media and the public for sharing our appeals, which prompted Alfred’s grandson to come forward. Last week, we did not know who the man in the field was and had ruled out all three of our ‘no body’ murders through DNA testing.
“We knew the remains were male, between the ages of 40 to 60, and around 5ft 5ins tall. We now have a name. If we can understand how Alfred lived, then we can understand how he died.
“This investigation is moving at speed, and we would like to appeal to members of the public again for their help. We would like to hear from anyone with information about Alfred. Did you know him?
“Did you drink at the Pinxton Miners Arms at the same time as Alfred? Is there any information that could help us understand what happened that night?
“As time passes so do loyalties and we hope that people who may have had information at the time about his disappearance will come forward now.”
Alfred was a father-of-six and a miner, living in the small village of Pinxton, Derbyshire, when he went missing. He worked at Langton Colliery from the age of 14 and was last seen at work on January 20 1967.
He was a “cutter” known for operating a machine that cut large chunks of coal out of the coal face for others to then break down. He had the nickname of Sparrow and was known as the “Champion Pigeon Man of Pinxton” due to his love of pigeon racing.
Four of his six children are still alive and he has a number of grandchildren. His last known sighting, the Pinxton Miners Arms in Church Street West, was a popular watering hole for the mining community.
The pub, which no longer exists and has been converted into a house, is a short drive from where his remains were found. Detectives are now trying to build up a picture of Alfred’s life, his past acquaintances, and a chronological order of what happened the night he went missing.
ACC Griffin added: “It is imperative that we find out what happened to Alfred to not only bring his family the closure they desperately need but to ensure those responsible are brought to justice. His killer left six children without a father.
“His killer stole any chance of him building the strong and lasting bonds that grandparents have with their grandchildren. His killer left them with decades of unanswered questions about what happened to their loved one.
“We hope with the public’s help we can put that right.” It is believed that Alfred was drinking with his two sons and friends on the night of his disappearance.
He was last seen at around 10.30pm when he gave his son some money to buy a round and then left to use the outside toilet but never returned. Detectives believe Alfred was killed and then buried in farmland around four to 6ft deep.
There were also a number of traumatic injuries found on his skeletal remains, which are undergoing further analysis. Further tests are also being carried out to determine how he was killed and how long he has been buried at the site in Coxmoor Road.
Additional work is also being carried out on clothes found with the remains including two distinctive socks and a shoe. Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on the force website.
Alternatively, call the force’s incident room on 0800 096 0095.