Friday, February 22, 2013
Possessions belonging to a man washed up near Exmouth could hold vital information into the myestery surrounding his death, police say.
Finding the belongings of a man found washed up near Exmouth last summer could help detectives identify how he died.
The body of Clifford John Thorne, 67, from Oxford, was discovered on the banks of the River Exe last July after he was reported missing from his home just over a year ago.
Detectives are keen to locate Mr Thorne’s possessions in the hope they will solve the mystery surrounding his death.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Blain Bishop said Mr Thorne, known as John to his friends, left his home on the morning of January 27, 2012, to buy a newspaper.
When he failed to return, his family placed his details on the missing persons register.
Police know Mr Thorne’s bank card was used in Weymouth on July 16, 2012, two days before his body was found near Exmouth.
Items officers believe he left home with – and are keen to trace – include a Franklin Mint round eagle watch with a leather strap and a gold face in the shape of an eagle.
He was also thought to have a second watch engraved with his name. Also missing is a flat black wallet containing a Barclaycard and Mr Thorne’s bus pass, a bunch of four keys with a key fob decorated with a Welsh dragon, and a silver link chain of medium thickness.
When he left home, Mr Thorne is thought to have been wearing a plain nylon navy jacket with a collar and two side pockets.
DC Bishop appealed to the public to help locate the missing possessions, saying their whereabouts could prove vital in piecing together Mr Thorne’s last movements and his cause of death.
“They could be key in working out his last movements before his death and help reassure the family as well as assisting with our investigation for the coroner,” said DC Bishop. “It could be that these things are still where he stayed, such as a bed and breakfast in the area.”
If you have information that could help detectives, call 101 and quote reference number KE/12/1669.