Gloucestershire

New probe into 1994 death of man found in river in Bristol

High Court Image copyright PA
Image caption A High Court judge overturned an earlier open verdict into the case and ruled a new inquest should be held

A fresh inquest is to be held into the death of a Stroud man whose body was identified 18 years after he died.

James Elam's body was found in the River Avon in Bristol in May 1994 - a month after he went missing.

He was identified by forensic tests after family members saw a report on the National Missing Persons website two years ago and contacted police.

High Court judges have now overturned an earlier open verdict into the case and ruled a new inquest should be held.

Mr Elam, who was 26 in 1994, was found in the River Avon on 28 May and buried at a cemetery in Bristol.

At a High Court hearing in London, chief coroner Judge Peter Thornton said despite checks with Interpol, police had been unable to identify the man in the 1990s.

He said the results of forensic tests suggested the dead man was Mr Elam and a new inquest should therefore take place.

He added: "We hope this process will bring at least some comfort to the Elam family for the sad death of James."

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