UK police say mystery man found dead on moor was poisoned

AP News
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Posted: Mar 14, 2016 12:26 PM

LONDON (AP) — A man whose body was found on an isolated moor — and whose identity has stumped detectives — died from strychnine poisoning, British police said Monday.

The Greater Manchester Police force said toxicology tests revealed the presence of the substance, a common rat poison, and "the cause of death is provisionally strychnine poisoning."

The body also contained reserpine, a blood pressure drug whose use has been linked to depression. Police say they don't yet know if the drug was connected to the man's death.

The force said that at this stage police are not treating the death as suspicious.

Police have searched the world for clues to the identity of the neatly dressed man, aged about 70, who was captured by security cameras traveling by train from London to Manchester on Dec. 11. Witnesses later saw him at a pub outside the city.

The next day, his body was found on a path leading to a rocky outcrop called Indian's Head on Saddleworth Moor. In his pockets were return train tickets and 130 pounds ($186) — but no ID. There were no signs of violence.

Police have scoured missing persons reports stretching back decades, and have investigated whether there is a link between the man and the 1949 crash near the same spot of a British European Airways DC-3 in which 24 people died. Eight people survived, including two children.

Police recently disclosed that the dead man had a titanium plate in his left femur, fitted in Pakistan between 2001 and 2015. They hope tracing it could reveal his identity.