Mystery of missing Brit pensioner found dead next to ‘distinctive cowboy boots’

Police have announced a breakthrough in the mystery of a missing pensioner who was last seen alive over 20 years ago as they now believe he was murdered.

Today (July 13) detectives confirmed that skeletal remains found three years ago, next to a pair of distinctive leather cowboy boots at a rural scrapyard in Essex, belonged to William 'Bill' Long.

Bill, who would now be in his 70s, was last seen alive between March 1999 and March 2000.

READ MORE: Five-year-old girl's murder finally solved 40 years after death thanks to DNA testing

On April 25, 2019, human remains turned up at the scrapyard in St Osyth near Clacton-on-Sea. DNA sampling has now revealed they belonged to Bill from Great Bentley, Essex.

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.

"The investigation was declared a homicide investigation but we remain open-minded about how Bill died."

Bill's sister Patricia described him as "vulnerable" and explained she hadn't had contact with him since their father died 26 years ago.

She 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."

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

DI Hughes added: "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."


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