Detectives in North Wales Police are using the latest DNA technology to help identify human remains discovered in North Wales over the last five decades.
Under ‘Operation Orchid’ officers will combine the latest advances in DNA technology and traditional investigative methods to help conclude enquiries that started years ago and help bring some closure to families who have lived with uncertainty for such a long time. Criminality is not suspected in any of the cases and the focus of the operation is simply to identify, reunite and allow the dignity of a funeral service for family and friends to pay their respects.
One such case dates back to 2nd January 1980 when female human remains were recovered from the sea 15 miles off the coast of Llandudno. Despite extensive enquiries at the time the female was not identified and her remains were interred at a local cemetery.
Police enquiries with the National Missing Persons Bureau have identified a potential match with a 39 year old local lady Priscilla Berry born 16th May 1939. Mrs Berry was reported missing from her Mochdre home on 14th June 1978 and it was suspected that she had taken her own life. Detective Constable Don Kenyon of North Wales Police who is leading the investigation said “It is now possible to link close family members such as siblings or children through DNA. If we can locate a brother, sister or child of Mrs Berry we can take a DNA sample to compare to the remains and establish if there is a familial link”.
“Although Mrs Berry went missing over 35 years ago we believe it is still important for her family to know what became of their relative and we will do all we can to help. It is by no means certain that the remains are those of Mrs Berry but the proposed tests should provide a definitive answer. We are therefore appealing to anyone who is related to Priscilla Berry or knows any of her family members to contact North Wales Police and help bring some degree of closure to her family ”.
If you have any information which may assist North Wales Police DC Kenyon can be contacted via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01745 588784.