Gay Londoners may hold the key to solving the murder of a young man whose bones were dug up next to a country road last summer.
The decomposed remains of tragic Aivaras Danilevicius, a Lithuanian national, were discovered by contractors who were clearing out a drainage ditch on 24 July 2015.
The stunned workers called police and a murder probe was launched.
They brought in forensic officers and a digger to the scene in Hawthorne Lane, Wargrave. It lies around 30 miles from the capital, just outside the town of Bracknell and close to the Legoland Windsor resort.
Initially, police had no idea of who the victim even was. He was found wrapped in a blanket and bin bags. A loose knitted blue and white striped jumper with a Turkish design label was recovered from the body.
They turned to experts at the University of Dundee who used advanced 3D computer technology to create a visual reconstruction of the dead man’s skull. This gave police an idea of what the man may have looked like when he was alive.
They also tracked DNA evidence and have now confirmed the body is that of Aivaras Danilevicius, born in 1969.
The victim’s family had reported him as a missing person in Lithuania and his DNA was matched on an international database.
Aivaras travelled to Britain in 1996. He lived for some time in Walthamstow, north east London but police believe he was living Earls Court in the west of the city just before his murder.
They think he was 34 or 35 when he died. Pathologists estimate he was killed in late 2004. And new information from family and friends makes it more likely he was murdered at some point after late summer that year.
A post mortem could not provide a conclusive cause of death, but it did show he had suffered blunt trauma injuries to his head. He may have been hit by a heavy object on either one or both sides of his head.
But detectives have not yet identified his killer, who is still on the run.
Gay links to murdered man?
Thames Valley Police said today they believe Aivaras was associated with the gay community in London and could have friends within the community.
Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Paul Quinton from the Major Crime Unit said: ‘Our inquiries so far have led us to believe that Aivaras potentially had connections within the gay community in London. Therefore we are appealing to anyone, and in particular members of the gay community, to assist us in locating Aivaras’ friends and associates.
‘This in turn may help us to understand better the circumstances surrounding his murder and potentially assist us in identifying the offender or offenders responsible for his death.
‘I would like to speak to anyone who had any connection with Aivaras in the years before his death, or who knows anything about his associations in London, particularly within the gay community.
‘I appreciate it is a few years ago now, but any detail, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you, or any clue that will help us to trace people who knew Aivaras, could be hugely important to this investigation, so please get in touch.’
If you can help, call the incident room on 01753 271108 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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