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UPDATE on Chop Gate investigation

Last modified: 28 April 2020 at 05:12pm

Police are continuing to investigate the discovery of human remains at a remote farming location near Chop Gate, in the Hambleton District, on 31 March 2020.

While it is still too early to confirm the precise age of the bones, forensic archaeologists have identified them as male and they are likely to be more than half-a-century old.

With support from the Ministry of Defence, the RAF Police Forensic Team and various subject matter experts from the RAF and the Army, work is ongoing at the vacated property to remove military memorabilia found in outbuildings.

Material experts will be present throughout the search and recovery process. It is common practice for EOD and other experts to assist the police with advice on such operations.

As part of a joint investigation between North Yorkshire Police and the Ministry of Defence Police, a 72-year-old man from the York area has been arrested, interviewed and released on conditional police bail while enquiries continue.

It is important to stress that the discovery of historic remains and burial sites are relatively common on North Yorkshire farmland.

Officers are keeping an open mind until more information is known, but this is not a homicide investigation.

We urge people to refrain from speculating about this legally active case, both in the media and on social media.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation are asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room.

Alternatively, information can be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Please quote reference number 12200052953 when providing details.

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