Severed head found in Cambridgeshire quarry was from man killed by train, police believe

A mysterious decapitated head which was discovered by police last year may date back to a tragic death half a century ago.

Thursday, 21st September 2017, 9:28 am
Updated Thursday, 21st September 2017, 9:32 am
The quarry in Mepal where the human head was found - Image Licensed to i-Images Picture Agency. Picture by Terry Harris / i-Image

The head was found in a quarry in Mepal, Cambridgeshire, in May last year when officers from Befordshire and Cambridgeshire Police were investigating the Natalie Hemming case, in which a young mum was murdered by her partner.

Although specialists were soon able to rule out the head being Natalie’s, they still had little idea where the head was from.

But police now believe that it could be that of a man who was killed by a train up to 50 years ago. Officers say the head may have been lodged in a bridge for more than ten years, before coming loose when the structure was cleaned.

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Police in Sharnbrook

Detectives have worked with specialists from the Natural History Museum and an odontologist - a medical professional trained to identify unknown human remains.

Specialists believe the man was aged between 30 and 50 when he died, which could have been as far back as the 1960s, but is more likely to have occurred about 10 years ago.

A post-mortem examination came back inconclusive, and the cause of death remains to be unknown.

A Cambridgeshire Police spokeswoman said on Tuesday (September 19) there was no major breakthrough in the investigation and it remains ongoing.

Police in Sharnbrook

Officers believe the head may have been lodged somewhere along the structure of the bridge; and, after it was cleaned, it was dislodged and found its way into the skip, before being eventually deposited at the quarry in Mepal.

Evidence led police to search a site in Mill Road in Sharnbrook, around 50 miles away from where workers made the gruesome discovery. Police are asking for anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers, 
anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at