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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Neal Keeling

Police consider widening search for remains of Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett

Police are considering widening their search for the remains of Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett. Officers started digging on Saddleworth Moor on Friday following information supplied by an amateur sleuth who has spent years looking for the child.

Author Edward Russell showed police pictures of what was described as part of a jaw bone, after working with a team of experts to try to find Keith's remains. But so far four days of searching by GMP forensic experts has failed to find any identifiable human remains.

The search will continue tomorrow and possibly for several more days this week for the child, who was murdered in 1964 by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. Police have dug 3ft down in the immediate area identified by Mr Russell and then several metres beyond that.

Keith Bennett, who was just 12 when he was murdered by Myra Hindley and Ian Brady in 1964 (PA)

They are now considering widening the search area even further to make certain they have not missed anything. Soil samples are also being recovered and sent for analysis to establish if there is an indication of body tissue.

On Sunday a drone was used by officers to survey the scene in hills above Greenfield Reservoir. Keith's brother, Alan, has said he is sceptical about the search. He said: "Apart from believing this is the wrong location for Keith and all the previous graves have been shallow, why, if the police were taken to the location has nothing been discovered yet? I cannot escape the feeling that we have been here before."

Senior investigating officer Cheryl Hughes said at the weekend: "Following information received which indicated that potential human remains had been found on the Moors specialist officers from GMP have again resumed excavation of the site identified to the force. We have not found any identifiable human remains but work to excavate the site is continuing and will do so for the foreseeable time."

GMP officers on Saddleworth Moor today continuing the search for the remains of Keith Bennett (PA)

Keith, 12, was one of five victims of killers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady. He vanished on June 16th 1964. His is the only body not to be found. The other victims were Pauline Reade, 16; John Kilbride, 12; Lesley Ann Downey, 10; and Edward Evans, 17.

Mr Edwards, according to reports, was just 21 when he first travelled to Saddleworth Moor to look for the Moors Murders victims having been galvanised by an article appealing for volunteers to find the first victim, Pauline Reade. He made a name for himself in 2014 after publishing a book called "Naming Jack the Ripper".

Mr Edwards said he focused his search on an area of the moors called Eagle Rock, a location Brady is thought to have revisited with a former GMP detective in 1966. In July this year he decided to carry out a final search on the moorland. He said: "I walked down from Eagle Rock. In the middle of long grass was a white patch. It was a completely different colour, it had no growth on it. I thought it was odd. I thought I might as well take a sample of this. it was a grave size, about 5ft by 3ft."

An officer carries an evidence bag on Saddleworth Moor (PA)

Forensic archaeologist, Dawn Keen, who specialises in the study of human remains is reported to have remotely supervised the 'grave cut'. She said: "From the photographs, I saw the teeth, I could see the canines, I could see the incisor, I could see the first molar. It is the left side of an upper jaw. There is no way that is an animal."

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