Skeleton found next to cowboy boots on scrapyard was a murdered man

Skeleton found next to abandoned cowboy boots on scrapyard was man who went missing 20 years ago and he was MURDERED, police believe

  • Bones found at the rural scrapyard in Essex belong to William ‘Bill’ Long
  • The missing man would have now been aged in his 70s
  • Police are treating his death as a murder after the bones were found in 2019 
  • Detectives used DNA samples from the skeletal remains to identify Bill 

A skeleton found next to abandoned cowboy boots on a scrapyard was the remains of a man who went missing and was murdered over 20 years ago, police said. 

Detectives today announced that the bones found in St Osyth, Essex, belong to missing William ‘Bill’ Long – who would now have been aged in his 70s.

Police are treating his death as a murder, after his remains were found in April three years ago next to a distinctive pair of leather boots.

Detective Inspector Kevin Hughes said: ‘Bill’s family have been told and they now have the chance to lay him to rest.

‘They have questions about what happened to him and our focus now is to get them answers.’

He added: ‘The investigation was declared a homicide investigation but we remain open minded about how Bill died.’

Forensic specialists and anthropologists have been working to establish a timescale of when the man was likely to have died.

Bill Long (pictured) was last seen or believed to be alive between March 1999 and March 2000. His remains were found alongside a pair of brown cowboy boots at the scrapyard in St Osyth, near Clacton-on-Sea, on April 25, 2019

Essex Police previously released photographs of cowboy boots in an effort to identify the body which was found in a scrap yard in St Osyth on April 25, 2019 – but now police have now said that the remains are those of William ‘Bill’ Long 

Bill’s (pictured) sister Patricia said that she hadn’t had contact with her brother since their father died 26 years ago

The boots were found beside a full skeleton of a man. William ‘Bill’ Long would now have been aged in his 70s

A review of historic local and national missing person reports was also carried out along with enquiries with financial institutions, the NHS, and the Department of Work and Pensions as well as the investigation of enquires generated from previous media appeals.

Bill was last seen or believed to be alive between March 1999 and March 2000.

His remains were found alongside a pair of brown cowboy boots at the scrapyard near Clacton-on-Sea, on April 25, 2019.

Detectives used DNA samples from the skeletal remains to identify Bill, whose most recent address was Great Bentley, Essex.

Bill’s sister Patricia said that she hadn’t had contact with her brother since their father died 26 years ago.

Patricia said in a statement: ‘After our father died in 1996, we lost contact with Bill and we’re desperate for information about what happened to him.

‘He was vulnerable and an easy target for scammers and we feel so guilty that we didn’t go back to Jaywick to make sure he was ok.

‘The next thing we knew was when detectives came and told us Bill’s remains had been found.

‘It’s so difficult to deal with grief and guilt when we don’t know what happened.

‘If you are afraid and want to remain anonymous this can be arranged. Please help us with anything you know.’

Essex Police have asked anyone with information to contact them quoting crime reference number 42/64620/19.

DI Hughes said: ‘We’re keeping an open mind as to what happened to Bill and how he came to be where he was found.

‘I need anyone who knew Bill, saw him, spoke to him or has any information about him or his life at the time he was last seen to come forward and speak to my team.’

The cowboy boots found next to William ‘Bill’ Long

A member of the public found the man’s remains in St Osyth, Essex in April. The cowboy boots were found near the 

The bones were found next to a distinctive pair of leather boots in April 2019

Detective Inspector Kevin Hughes said: ‘Bill’s family have been told and they now have the chance to lay him to rest. They have questions about what happened to him and our focus now is to get them answers.’ Pictured, the scrapyard in St Osyth, near Clacton-on-Sea

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