Forensic artists have put pen to paper in a bid to identify a woman whose body was found on a beach three decades ago. Scotland-based artist Hew Morrison has recreated an image of the mystery woman, whose remains had been discovered by an off-duty coastguard in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, on January 13, 1993.
The body had been seen near the Low Lighthouse and is believed to have not been in the sea for very long. Despite several clues through her outfit, the woman has never been identified.
The off-duty coastguard discovered her shortly after the fierce Braer Storm battered the UK, which was described as one of the most intense extratropical cyclones ever recorded over the northern Atlantic Ocean.
As the 30th anniversary of her discovery arrived, Scotland-based forensic artist Hew Morrison produced a new image of the woman’s face.
This comes after a new group of volunteer investigators decided to revisit the case with Locate International, a charity dedicated to helping families of unsolved missing person cases, find their loved ones.
The missing woman was 5 ft 1, of thin build, and aged between 60 and 70 years. According to the UK Charity, she had very long grey hair and was white.
She was wearing a light green and beige overcoat with a dark green fur lined hood, dark ankle socks, and a knee-length black skirt with a “Jaeger” label.
She was found wearing one shoe from Stead & Simpson, described as blue with a blue bow attached and a 1.5” heel. She was also wearing black knitted gloves and a yellow and black patterned scarf.
Locate International noted that she was also wearing three cardigans, described as: “A heavy, light blue knitted cardigan with two pockets, no buttons, and a wraparound belt
“A black cardigan with black beads around the shoulder and neck. This was worn under the blue cardigan.
“A pink cardigan with gold and pink buttons and a long collar. This was also worn under the blue cardigan, although it is not known whether this was also under the black cardigan.”
In further details, the woman was found wearing a gold band-type ring although it is not clear what finger she was wearing this on.
She was also carrying a packet of paracetamol tablets bought from Superdrug and an “After Curry” mint with the word “Kansaras” on it.
The area around Bristol and north Somerset was rocked by intense weather around the period she entered the sea. On January 12, 1993, a widespread thunderstorm hit the Bristol Channel area.
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At the same time, a tornado struck Congresbury, Yatton, along with a tornado with hailstones up to 10mm in size. Streets in Weston-Super-Mare were reported to be white with hailstones.
Dave Grimstead, Locate International’s CEO and founder, said: “As we reach 30 years since her death, we’re hoping someone out there can help unite Burnham-on-Sea woman with her real name.
“Maybe you recognise her, or her clothes, or served her the Kansaras after-dinner mint, maybe in a curry house. Maybe you remember a woman with very long grey hair in north Somerset around this time?
“We’re also looking into a possible link with the eastern European community in the West Country: did you know anyone with eastern European links at the time who matches her description? Even the smallest details can help move our investigation forward, so we encourage you to come forward.”
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