Northampton human bones those of man reported missing in 1999

image copyrightTerry Harris
image captionNorthamptonshire Police spent days examining the area where the human bones were discovered

Skeletal remains found in woodland are those of a 92-year-old man missing for almost 22 years, an inquest heard.

Coroner Anne Pember said bones found close to a footpath running by the A45 near Hardingstone in Northampton on 2 February belonged to James Dolman.

Mr Dolman was reported missing on 19 March 1999.

Adjourning the inquest at County Hall in Northampton, Mrs Pember said a post-mortem examination had found the cause of death to be "unascertained".

image copyrightTerry Harris
image captionA post-mortem examination on the remains of James Dolman found his cause of death to be unascertained

Investigating officer Det Insp Tim Craven, from Northamptonshire Police, said human bones were discovered at 20:21 GMT on 2 February by "members of the public foraging for natural artistic materials", the inquest heard.

Mrs Pember told the inquest that Mr Craven had said "items of clothing were found and in some of this clothing we found two cards in the name of James Dolman".

image copyrightTerry Harris
image captionHuman bones were found by members of the public near Hardingstone on the outskirts of Northampton
image copyrightTerry Harris
image captionThis picture, taken by a drone, shows where the human bones were found close to the A45 in Hardingstone on the edge of Northampton

The coroner said DNA testing on the remains would take place "in the near future".

Police have previously said they were "not treating the discovery of these bones as involving any suspicious circumstances".

The woods where the bones were found are just off Cherry Orchard near Hardingstone High Street.

The area is popular with dog walkers and is often used by people from the village or workers at the nearby Brackmills Industrial Estate.

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