The policeman who led investigations into a body found on a north Norfolk beach 23 years ago has today spoken of his satisfaction after advances in forensic science were able to reveal the person’s identity.

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Former sergeant Tim Travers led the six-month investigation by Sheringham police after the body of 34-year-old Michael Sutherland, of Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, washed up on Weybourne beach in 1989 on October 9.

Now retired, Mr Travers, 51, said: “It was the most intense missing person inquiry I worked on and our first priority was to identify the person.

“I feel satisfied the body has been identified - it’s good.”

Weybourne resident Sheila Hands is a former chairman of Weybourne Parish Council and was a member when the body was found.

“I can remember it and the people in the village were shocked and surprised at the time,” she said.

“I can’t remember anything else that’s really happened like that in Weybourne.”

Marc Crane is a former resident and said although he was not told much at the time he remembered reading about it in the newspapers.

He added: “I’m glad his family have got answers.”

Using modern detective work the remarkable breakthrough came about thanks to advances in forensic science and the use of DNA.

A dedication service will be held at Weybourne’s All Saints Church on November 1 at 10.30am.

● For more on this story see tomorrow’s EDP.

● To read today’s exclusive story click the link at the top right hand corner.

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