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Luke Durbin: History of woodland where bone was found complicates inquiry

12:53 04 March 2014

Police search teams scour woodland around Parklands in Ufford today where human bone was found.

Police search teams scour woodland around Parklands in Ufford today where human bone was found.

Woodland invariably has a history which must be carefully trawled by detectives in order not to lead them to premature conclusions.

Various factors will complicate the discovery of the bone found in the woods in Ufford by the Luke Durbin inquiry team.

The area was once a home to army barracks in either the First or Second World War. Whether these barracks contained a hospital or the surrounding land was used for exercises appears to be unknown at this stage.

In addition in early 2011 there was an outcry after graves on the site of the former chapel at the old St Audry’s psychiatric hospital in Melton, less than three miles away, were left open during an excavation by archaeologists working for a building firm.

Up to a dozen graves had been found in December 2010 but had not be re-covered.

The criticism that followed created national news.

The graves were believed to have dated from the 19th and 20th Centuries and belonged to doctors who worked at St Audrys.

Detectives now have to consider whether an animals may have carried away bones from the site, and if one piece or more could have ended up in the woods in Ufford.

Detective Superintendent John Brocklebank, who is leading the Luke Durbin inquiry, said: “We understand the woodland was used as a barracks in World War One or World War Two.

“It might have also previously been used as landfill.

“In addition in 2011 skeletons were unearthed at nearby St Audrys which were left open to the elements.

“We can’t rule the piece of bone we have found was dumped in the woodland.

“There is quite a lot we need to establish around the history of that site.

“We want to hear from anybody who has brought anything into those woods, or has discarded anything in there. I would appeal to them to come forward.”

Anyone with information which could help the inquiry should telephone Suffolk Constabulary on 101 or Crimestopppers on 0800 555111.

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