Police hunting for the body of Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett have called off the search after no human remains were found.
Greater Manchester Police had been tipped off by amateur sleuth Russell Edwards who told them he was “certain” he’d discovered Keith’s body while searching Saddleworth Moor.
Officers commenced digging the rugged terrain on October 1, but the week-long search has proved fruitless.
The force said that following completion of excavation by accredited forensic experts, it had been concluded there is currently no evidence to indicate the presence of human remains.
Detective Chief Inspector Cheryl Hughes said: “The investigation into Keith’s disappearance and murder has remained open since 1964 and it will not be closed until we have found the answers his family have deserved for so many years.
“In response to the report made on Thursday 29 September 2022, officers met with the member of the public who later provided us with samples and copies of the photographs he had taken.
"He also took officers to the location from which he had obtained these and provided grid references.”
Det Chief Insp Hughes added that independent accredited forensic archaeologists and certified forensic anthropologists, together with GMP’s Crime Scene Investigators, had completed a methodical forensic archaeological excavation and examination of the identified area and beyond.
An accredited forensic geologist also took a number of soil samples – analysis of which is ongoing.
He added: “The items given to us by the member of the public have been examined by a forensic scientist and though this hasn’t yet indicated the presence of human remains – more analysis is required. With regards to the photograph, we have sought the assistance of a forensic botanist.
"We are now utilising the knowledge and skills of a forensic image expert to put a standard anthropological measurement to the object to assist with identification.
"At this stage, the indications are that it would be considerably smaller than a juvenile jaw and it cannot be ruled out that it is plant-based.
“The excavation and examination at the site is complete and, to reiterate, we have found no evidence that this is the burial location of Keith Bennett.”