POLICE have said they have no plans to resume the search for the body of moors murder victim Keith Bennett.
Greater Manchester Police made the announcement following an appeal by Keith’s brother, Alan, who claims he has new information.
Mr Bennett told the Examiner that compelling new evidence had been brought to light. This had come from a “source who was once very close to Ian Brady” and interviews held with David Smith, chief prosecution witness at the Moors trial in 1966, before he died in May this year.
Mr Bennett said a specific search area for the burial site had been identified which was no wider than two football pitches.
Martin Bottomley, head of Greater Manchester Police’s Cold Case Unit, said: “The Moors murders cast a long and dark shadow over the history of our region and since Keith was so cruelly taken away all those years ago we have done all we can to find the body of that little boy and give his family both the answers they have been seeking for so long and to finally allow them to lay Keith to rest.
“Sadly, despite exhausting all available avenues, we have not been able to do so.”
He added: “In 2003 we launched an operation to again find Keith’s body which involved leading scientists, clinical psychologists, imagery experts, search advisors, geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, archaeologists and anthropologists.
“However, in 2009, we reluctantly concluded there was no longer any specific information to identify new search areas and therefore the investigation entered, and remains in, a dormant stage.
“As a force, there is nothing we would have liked more than to draw a close to this dark chapter and, of course, we are disappointed we have not located Keith’s remains.
“However, I would stress that we will never close this case and will always remain open to pursuing any new lines of inquiry that may arise from significant scientific advances or credible and actionable information.
“In the end, only Ian Brady knows the whereabouts of Keith Bennett’s body. We have always and will continue to hope that one act of humanity on his part will give Keith’s family some peace.”
Keith Bennett was 12 years old when he was murdered by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in June 1964. He is the only one of their victims whose body has never been found. His mother, Winnie Johnson, died in August aged 78.
Alan Bennett, who runs an online forum dedicated to finding his brother, added: “Myself and other forum members – of which there are many – are certain that a new, official search using this recent evidence could bring Keith home. I cannot even begin to describe what this would mean to my family.”
On October 16, he launched an e-petition to urge authorities to resume their search for Keith: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/40262