Image CC – Wikimedia Commons
The death of an unidentified man sparked a worldwide investigation to identify elderly gentleman found the South Pennines.
Discovered in a peculiar stance by cyclist Stuart Crowther, he described the scene “His head was uphill and his legs were straight downhill – perfectly straight. His arms were across his chest.”
The man was found with no credentials of any kind which prompted a police appeal to identify him.
It was established at the time however, that his cause of death was strychnine poisoning of his own doing, a pesticide traditionally used to kill rats.
The pesticide was used as a clue to track the movements of the mystery man, as the family of plants known as Strychnos used to create strychnine are usually found in Asia.
Police then were able to follow his travels initially from Pakistan, where the pesticide was purchased
He then travelled to the UK where he made a series of train journeys discovered as a result of the tickets found on his person.
It emerged that he travelled from London to Manchester and finally to Saddleworth Moor in a 200 mile trip.
Curiously, the man purchased return tickets, which Police still find baffling and cannot yet confirm why.
The Investigation to identify the mystery man took over a year to complete before a DNA match was made with a relative according to the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) where they identified him as 67-year-old David Lyton.
In a statement from the GMP, “After more than a year of painstaking inquiries, which included media appeals being released in the UK and Pakistan – detectives investigating the mysterious case have made a positive identification”.
The case received worldwide attention, with many speculating and providing theories on who the man was and why he had chosen to travel over 200 miles to take his life on Saddleworth Moor.
Some were claiming the Moor had a special connection to the man, whilst others speculated that he was returning to the scene of a plane crash that occurred in 1949 – those theories have since been discounted.
A full inquest into the investigation is set to take place on the 14th March.