Hampshire police launch international appeal to identify man found deceased in Micheldever in 2017
Detectives are renewing their efforts to identify a man whose remains were discovered in a disused barn near the village of Micheldever, Hampshire, in 2017. The appeal, conducted in collaboration with Locate International, a missing person charity, is now focused on southern France following extensive scientific analysis by the University of Reading. As part of this renewed appeal, a facial reconstruction image is being re-released.
The remains were initially found on Friday, December 1, 2017, in a barn, accompanied by personal effects such as a sleeping bag, road map, and rucksack, suggesting the man had been living outdoors for an extended period. Although it is believed he died of natural causes, his identity remains unknown.
In 2019, a public appeal identified witnesses who encountered the man in late summer 2012 in the village of Itchen Stoke, approximately seven miles from where the body was later discovered. The man, described as having a French accent, speaking fluent English, and being white, aged 35 to 50, with brown hair, sought permission to camp in their garden. He claimed to be travelling through England en route to Ireland or Canada, mentioning his past service in the French Military. There is a possibility that he was deaf or hard of hearing in one ear.
Despite this information and extensive investigative efforts, the man remains unidentified. Recent Isotope analysis of bone and teeth samples by Geochemist Dr Stuart Black at the University of Reading indicates that the man likely grew up in either southern or south-eastern France, western Switzerland, or Corsica. The analysis also revealed pollutants suggesting an early life spent in a sizable town or city with a marine fish-rich diet.
Utilizing this new information, Locate International has initiated an appeal in southern France to aid in solving this perplexing case. Doug Utting from the Serious Case Review team at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary expressed gratitude to Locate International and Dr. Stuart Black, stating, "It seems very likely that this man died very shortly after interacting with the witnesses we have now identified and lay undiscovered for five years."
Dave Grimstead, CEO of Locate International, emphasised the importance of assistance from the public, particularly in France, stating, "The key to us solving this mystery seems to lie in France. Does he look like anyone you lost contact with? Did you serve with him in the military at any point? Do you remember someone losing their hearing in one ear in this way? He died alone, but we want to make sure he is not forgotten after his death."
Authorities urge anyone who recognises the man in the image or may have information related to his identity to come forward. If you have any information, regardless of how insignificant it may seem, please contact us at 101, quoting reference 44170467777, or submit information through Hampshire Police’s website.