Beds, Herts & Bucks

Identity of Biggleswade 'tattooed man' unknown 20 years on

The man who was found dead Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption The man was known in the local area as "Old Ragbones"

The identity of a man with a distinctive tattoo who was found dead two decades ago remains a mystery.

The man, who had a tattoo on his arm of a woman's head and a heart, was found in a manmade shelter in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, in February 1997.

Officers said he was known around the town as "Old Ragbones" but they have been unable to identify him.

Bedfordshire Police said they were not treating the death as suspicious but still wanted to identify him.

The man, who was thought to be in his 50s and who was found to have lung cancer and a brain tumour, became known as the "tattooed man".

The tattoo also appeared to feature a name that was four or five letters long with the last being "Y".

'No investigation closed'

His body was found by a group of boys playing truant from school.

The man had been described to police as being "well-spoken, well-educated and reserved".

A local farmer recalled a rumour "Old Ragbones" used to work in London.

Michael Flavin, of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire major crime unit investigation review team, said: "He may well have family members somewhere who still wonder what happened to him.

"Despite two decades having passed, no investigation is ever completely closed.

"I would encourage anyone who believes they may have known who this man was to get in touch."

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