Body part found is leg and foot

A BODY part found in a Northampton lake was today confirmed as being the lower part of a right leg and a complete human foot.Police are now carrying out DNA tests to see if it belongs to alleged Ipswich murder victim Ian Halls.

A BODY part found in a Northampton lake was today confirmed as being the lower part of a right leg and a complete human foot.

Police are now carrying out DNA tests to see if it belongs to alleged Ipswich murder victim Ian Halls.

The body part was discovered by a dog walker washed up by the side of Northampton's Ransome Road lake, at around 1.50pm on Monday.

Mr Halls, 63, of Tower Mill Road, Ipswich, was reported missing on January 29 by his concerned stepsister.

The latest discovery comes six weeks after the former librarian's head, hand and left thigh were found in Lincolnshire's River Witham.

A police sniffer dog, specialist search officers, a police helicopter and divers were all called in to sweep the lake and its surroundings following the latest find.

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The remain was washed up next to the Northampton Water Ski Club building in an area well-trodden by walkers, joggers and horse riders.

The lake, which is a former 1960s gravel pit with a one-mile circumference, is just outside Northampton town centre.

It is bordered by the vast Delapre Park and golf club on one side the busy A45 road on the other.

Angler Paul King, 56, of Kingland Gardens, Northampton, spoke of his surprise that a human remain could have been disposed of in such an active area.

He said: "It seems such a strange place to dispose of a body part. There are all sorts of things going on down here like waterskiing, fishing and horse riding. You've got to be really pushing your luck to drop it in here because the chances are it will be found."

Northampton Water Ski Club, who use the lake on a weekly basis, were stopped from entering the water while police enquiries in the area took place.

But angler Fred Chillingsworth, 72, of Old Barton, near Northampton, spoke of his surprise at how quickly life had returned to normal on the lake.

He said: "I heard about the discovery and wondered if the police would stop us fishing.

"They didn't and the only way you would know something had happened is because of the bit of police tape that's caught on the fence near where they found it."

Mr Chillingsworth is one of a number of anglers who use the council-owned lake, for which the Northampton Nene Angling Club own the fishing rights.

This latest discovery is not the first time a grim discovery has been made in the area, with an angler finding the body of a jogger in the water around three months ago. The circumstances surrounding this death were not thought to be suspicious, however.

Mary Houghton, 56, of Briar Hill Northampton, regularly walks her dog through nearby Delapre Park and said the new find was a hot topic of conversation in the area.

She said: "A lot of people of are talking about and there's a lot of myths going around."

N Mr Halls' nephew Michael Harvey, 49, of North Down Avenue, Manchester, will next appear before Ipswich Crown Court on August 5.

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