Body found in tent lay undiscovered for a year
PUBLISHED: 17:20 09 August 2018
A man lay dead in a tent near Weston-super-Mare and went undiscovered for a year, and 12 months on police are still yet to confirm his identity – prompting the launch of a public appeal.
The body was discovered by Avon and Somerset Constabulary off the A370 approaching the town on August 15, 2017 – however the force says ‘extensive enquires’ have been unsuccessful in confirming the man’s identity.
The body is believed to be that of Peter Thomas Harrison after a driving licence and birth certificate were found in the tent he was using to sleep rough, but the police have been unable to verify the details with his next-of-kin who are yet to come forward.
A newspaper from August 2016 was also found in the tent, and officers believe the man, who would have been 59 or 60 years old when he died, could have been deceased for up to a year before he was found.
Investigating officer PC Andy Henderson said: “This is a really sad case of a man who appears to have been sleeping rough and whose death seems to have gone unreported.
“It would appear he had been dead for up to a year before he was found and due to the condition of the remains it has been extremely difficult to establish for certain who he is.
“Based on the documentation we found in the tent, we believe the man to be called Peter Thomas Harrison who was born in Birmingham and would either have been aged 59 or 60 when he died.”
Police are calling for help from the public to confirm the identity of the man, or his family, so the remains can be officially identified and the case can be brought to a close.
PC Henderson added: “We also believe he was a driver by trade and had spent recent years living in and around the Weston area.
“We’d rather his next-of-kin not find out about his death in this manner but feel strongly that given the length of time, it is important they know.
“If you are the man’s next-of-kin, or have any information which could us identify them, please contact our investigations unit.”
To assist the police with this appeal, call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference number 5217187006.