Police identify man as Alfred Swinscoe after human remains found in Sutton-in-Ashfield woodlands

An image of the man has been released who's remains were found in Sutton-in-Ashfield
The remains of Alfred Swinscoe were found in Sutton-in-Ashfield following his disappearance in 1967. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police / BPM Media

Human remains that were found in a field in Sutton-in-Ashfield earlier this year have been identified as a father-of-six who went missing in 1967.

Alfred Swinscoe, went missing after drinking at the Pinxton Miners Arms in Derbyshire.

Family members had been waiting 56 years for answers after Alfred, aged 54 at the time, went missing in mysterious and unusual circumstances.

His bones were discovered by a member of the public as construction work was being carried out on farmland in Coxmoor Road on Wednesday 26 April.

He had the nickname of ‘Sparrow’ and was known as the “Champion Pigeon Man of Pinxton” due to his love of pigeon racing.

A member of the public came across the human remains on farmland in Coxmoor Road Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Russell Lowbridge was only four years old when his grandfather disappeared contacted police following a media appeal for information about the unidentified remains found in Coxmoor Road on Wednesday 26 April this year.

DNA tests were carried out on Russell and Alfred’s son, now in his 70s, and matched against the bones exhumed from the ground.

Police have launched a murder investigation and a team of detectives are working alongside a team of scientists to bring his killer to justice, Nottinghamshire Police said.

Alfred's grandson, Russell Lowbridge reads out a statement on behalf of his family

Who is Alfred Swinscoe?

Alfred was a father-of-six and a miner, living in the small village of Pinxton in Derbyshire when he went missing.

Alfred worked at Langton Colliery from the age of 14 and was last seen at work on January 20, 1967.

He was ‘a cutter’ known for operating a machine that cut large chunks of coal out of the coal face for others to then break down.

Four of his six children are still alive and he has a number of grandchildren.

Alfred's last sightings

His last known sighting, the Pinxton Miners Arms in Church Street West, was a popular watering hole for the mining community.

The pub, which no longer exists and has been converted into a house, is a short drive from where his remains were found on Wednesday 26 April.

It is believed that Alfred was drinking with his two sons and friends on the night of his disappearance.

From left, Alfred swinscoe's grandsons Russell and Jason Lowbridge, daughter Julie and great granddaughter Saffron Lowbridge. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

He was last seen at around 10.30pm when he gave his son some money to buy a round and then left to use the outside toilet. He never returned.

Detectives believe Alfred was killed and then buried in farmland around four to 6ft deep.

The remains were found in a woodland by a member of the public.

Police attended the scene and a large cordon was put in place while forensic investigations began to examine the remains for three weeks.

Pair of socks recovered from the scene in Sutton-in-Ashfield Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Nottinghamshire Police had previously confirmed that the "trauma" inflicted on the skeleton shows the individual was murdered.

It's believed the burial site is also not the place where his murder occurred but detectives are convinced whoever disposed of the body intended the individual not to be found.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin said: “I cannot imagine how distressing this must have been for Alfred’s family who have been waiting 56 years for answers.

“Some of Alfred’s family members are no longer alive and will have died never knowing what happened to their loved one that night.

“All they know is Alfred went to the pub one evening and then never came home.

“We know that Alfred was murdered.

“We know this because it is quite obvious that whoever did this buried him in Coxmoor Road in the hope that no one would find him.  

“Despite this being a crime that happened more than 50 years ago this will not stop us from using all the investigative skills at our disposal to find those responsible.

"If we can understand how Alfred lived, then we can understand how he died.“As time passes so do loyalties and we hope that people who may have had information at the time about his disappearance will come forward now.

Alfred Swinscoe disappeared after going to the pub with his son Gary. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

“It is imperative that we find out what happened to Alfred to not only bring his family the closure they desperately need but to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

“His killer left six children without a father. His killer stole any chance of him building the strong and lasting bonds that grandparents have with their grandchildren.

“His killer left them with decades of unanswered questions about what happened to their loved one. We hope with the public’s help we can put that right.”

Robin Barrows Spencer was reported missing by his mother in June 2004, his body has never been found Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Police originally believed the body could be that of Robin Barrows Spencer, who was reported missing by his mother in June 2004.

He was 47 years old at the time of his disappearance and a murder investigation was launched in 2006 surrounding his disappearance.

His body has never been recovered but a number of arrests were made at the time. However, no one has ever been prosecuted.

Despite extensive DNA testing ,including DNA from family members, the force have concluded the body does not belong to Robin Barrows Spencer.