Lead murder detective keeping “open mind” after human leg found in Dagenham lake

The Chase was sealed off to the public while police searched the water and surrounding area

The Chase was sealed off to the public while police searched the water and surrounding area - Credit: Archant

A top detective leading the investigation into the suspected murder of a father-of-two has said he is “keeping an open mind” about the discovery of a human leg.

Neill Buchel has been missing since March 13

Neill Buchel has been missing since March 13 - Credit: Archant

Det Ch Insp Chris Jones confirmed the gruesome find at the Chase Nature Reserve, Dagenham, last night was that of a man and said its distance from the place missing Neill Buchel was last sighted — in Stansgate Road, Dagenham — was “concerning”.

He added police were continuing to search White Hart Lakes, where the floating body part was found shortly after 6pm, and the surrounding reserve.

“We are open-minded as to what it’s [the finding of the leg] link is. It’s concerning from my perspective that it was found so close [to where Neill was last seen],” he said.

Police are treating the discovery of the leg as “significant in its own right”, revealed Det Ch Insp Jones who added he had not investigated a crime of this sort in 23 years service.


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He said: “It’s disturbing to find part of a human’s leg in a place. We are doing our very best to understand the circumstances of it coming to be here.”

The outcome of forensic analysis on the leg is expected within 24 hours.

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Det Ch Insp Jones took the opportunity to reassure the community that police were taking the matter “seriously” and were continuing to investigate.

He also claimed information had already come in following a police appeal.

Anyone with information should call the incident room on 020 8345 3734 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Three men have been arrested and bailed in connection with the murder of Neill Buchel.

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