POLICE officers trying to identify human remains which washed up on an Anglesey shore over 30 years ago, and were buried in an unmarked grave in Menai Bridge say results of scientific tests appear to be positive.

An exhumation was held at the Menai Bridge Cemetery back in June, North Wales Police believed the remains to be those of Joseph Brendon Dowley, 63, an Irish citizen from Kilkenny. He had been living in London and was last seen alive in October,1985. Det Sgt Don Kenyon leading the operation said; “We have received a very positive result from the familial DNA analysis of the remains exhumed. The DNA report has been sent to HM Coroner Mr Dewi Pritchard Jones who has been provided with evidence in relation to the case of missing person Mr Joseph Brendan Dowley. Mr Dowley’s family have been kept updated. Mr Pritchard Jones will consider the case to establish if there is sufficient evidence to make a formal identification.”

The exhumation follows investigations under Operation Orchid to identify human remains discovered over the past 50 years. Det Sgt Kenyon said; “We combine the latest advances in DNA technology and traditional investigative methods to help conclude enquiries started years ago to help bring some closure to families. 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.” On November 9, 1985, an airman from RAF Valley discovered the body of a man on the shore at Rhosneigr. Attempts to identify him proved fruitless. An inquest returned an ‘open verdict, the death was not treated as suspicious and he was interred at Menai Bridge.