A mysterious and unidentifiable body showing up in your town may sound the like the perfect setup for a crime-based TV show, but while it sounds far-fetched, it actually happens more often than most people would like to think.

These mysteries can be both scary for the citizens of that town and equally frustrating for the investigators whose job it is to solve the crime. Is there a madman on the loose or was it a personal attack?

When the remains of an unidentified person showed up at the Dovestone reservoir one morning, it left authorities scratching their heads. Though, when they eventually solved the crime they were left with more questions than answers…

One morning not long ago, a cyclist came upon the body of a man in a remote area of Saddleworth Moor in South Pennines, Northern England. The deceased man didn’t appear to be a vagrant, in fact, he was well dressed. When authorities arrived to the scene, though, they were baffled as they were unable to identify just who he was…

first-scrib-1Greater Manchester Police/ Parrot of Doom

Saddleworth Moor is an extremely remote area in the Peak District National Park. There didn’t appear to be foul play in this man’s death, however, as he was discovered with his arms at his side in quite a peaceful position.


Authorities assumed the man had to be between the ages of 65 and 75. When he arrived to the mortician, they nicknamed the man, who was still unidentified at the time, Neil Dovestones after the area where he was found. When they proceeded to conduct an autopsy they were shocked at what they discovered. 


When the results from his autopsy returned, it was discovered that he had died from strychnine poisoning. 


As the results of his death were revealed the police continued to look into the contents of the man’s pockets when he was discovered. He had £130 in £10 and several train tickets, one of which remained unused. Strangest of all, there was an empty box of medicine where the words were written in the Pakistani language of Urdu.


Police began to make headway on the man’s whereabouts leading up to his death in the park. He had reportedly entered the Clarence Pub in Greenfield at 2 p.m. and asked owner Melvin Robinson for directions to the top of the mountain. 


“When I spoke to him he just seemed like a normal person just looking at the local interest spots,” Melvin said in an interview about speaking to the still unidentified man. “It’s become more of a mystery as time has gone on. I think we would all like to resolve it just for peace of mind.”


The peak of the mountain is 1,500-feet and thinking the man was too old to make the climb, Melvin warned him not to attempt the hike. The unidentified man chose to ignore his advice and two hours later was spotted nearly halfway up the mountain by a motorist who was the last person to see him alive.


“My theory on why he was there keeps changing,” Melvin said to reporters about the mystery of the unidentified man. “If it was strychnine poisoning, that causes you to convulse but he had his arms by his side. Then I wonder if somebody robbed him and left him like that — but why wouldn’t they take the money. It’s so strange.”


At this time investigators found CCTV footage of the unidentified man traveling in the train stations from his used tickets. The footage captured his trek leading him to England. He began in West London went to Euston and then connected to Manchester. Once there, he traveled to Greenfield, his final destination…


Still unable to identify the man, police began asking local businesses if they knew anything about him and also handed out pictures to hospitals and doctors. This, however, yielded zero results. 


Video and pictures of the man began circulating on international media. This led to many conspiracy theories, including some people suspecting that he was a secret agent who was murdered in an act of espionage. None of it was helping, though.


All people could assume was that if the unidentified man was murdered, he had to have planned to meet someone at the top of the mountain.


Conspiracy theories continued to roll in. For a brief period, many people suspected the unidentified man could’ve been Hugh Toner, a man from Northern Ireland who went missing in 1994, because he looked similar to his profile. This was later disproved through a DNA test.


Other detectives even suspected that he could have been a man whose plane crashed at Indian’s Head in 1949.  “The unidentified man is of an age that ties in with the crash and could be related to someone on it. He could have been making a pilgrimage to the plane crash site to remember a relative or friend,” John Coleman, a detective on the case, said in an interview.


As interesting as this theory was to some, it could not be proven. Not long after, authorities caught their first big break. The medicine box that had been written in Urdu was found to contain medication used for people who had hypothyroidism. The autopsy of the unidentified Dovestones man revealed that he may have had surgical treatment for this ailment in Pakistan.


It was discovered that the man had a a mid-femur titanium plate in his left thigh bone that had been inserted into his body in an unusual way. This helped investigators to zero in on 15 hospitals that could’ve possibly performed the surgery. After a long search, they identified the very hospital to which the man had gone for his procedure.


Investigators also discovered that the man had traveled from the U.K. to Pakistan just days prior to the discovery of his lifeless body. “The check of the flight names threw up a particular name,” John said in an interview. “We then managed to get a passport for that gentlemen, and although the picture was old, it looked right.”


“We actually got this imagery exactly a year later on the anniversary of his death,” John mentioned to reporters in an interview. “Then we were able to trace a relative who provided us with a DNA sample.”


This led to an exact match of David Lytton, a 67-year-old man from London. While the investigators got their positive identification, many mysteries continue to surround his death. Some people continue to suspect foul play, while others think the man may have committed suicide, but there is still no definitive answer to this mystery.


It’s good that authorities figured out who the man was, but it’s so eerie that even after it was solved, his death continues to baffle everyone else.

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