Tragic death ‘not suspicious’

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THE tragic death of a man whose badly burnt body was found in woodland is no longer thought to be suspicious.

Police say the results of a post-mortem examination have revealed that the man died from burns and smoke inhalation.

His body was discovered by a member of the public shortly before 3pm a week last Monday on private land near Pennington Brook, off Pennington Road and Chestnut Drive.

GMP confirmed that his family have yet to be informed as they are away on holiday.

Inquiries into the circumstances surrounding his death are ongoing, however, police no longer believe foul play was involved.

Supt Julian Snowball from Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan division said: “We believe we have traced the family of the man however, we have not been able to contact them at this stage and it would be wrong to name him before loved ones have been informed. We are still investigating the circumstances of the death but are satisfied that no foul play was involved. However, I would still ask for people with information to come forward.”

GMP are looking into the possibility that the body is that of Edward Sheehy, 50, who went missing from his home in Miriam Grove – just half a mile from the scene – on March 22.

But officers say they are keeping an open mind as to who the victim could be, because he was carrying no identification, although police did confirm he was white.

Police – who are jointly investigating the death with the fire service – returned to Mr Sheehy’s house in Miriam Grove on Tuesday last week to search for clues.

Speaking at a press conference Supt Snowball said: “The body has been significantly burnt and forensic examinations so far have shown that the body could have been there for as little as 48 hours previous to the discovery or as much as two weeks.

“We want to reassure the public that we are doing all we can to find out what happened and ask that if anyone in the local area is concerned that they should contact police in their area.

“The area in which the body was found is clearly a regular place for people, possibly both adults and youngsters, to go and drink and even perhaps for homeless people to sleep.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.