Police have identified the body of a man washed up at Fleetwood in February after an exhaustive nationwide search and dental checks.
The dead man has now been confirmed as David Garwood, 70, who went missing from his home in Dorset on January 10.
Officers initially drew a blank after appealing to Weekly News readers for help in putting a name to the elderly male, whose body was discovered in the Wyre estuary on February 2.
And the mystery intensified as police widened the search across Lancashire and beyond, checking DNA with police databanks and national missing persons files for a match - but still struggled to find out who he was.
At one point officers contemplated the last resort of publishing a photo of the man’s features, a grisly tactic which had proved successful in a similar case in Preston last year. But officers opted instead to keep on with the search, and this month they got a break when an officer from the Missing Person Bureau in London linked the incident in Fleetwood with that of a man had gone missing from his home and not been seen by his family since January. Dental records later confirmed it was Mr Garwood.
DS Kevin Wright, who led the investigation, told the Weekly News: “This has been a challenging investigation to try and identify the deceased male. It was frustrating knowing that this man, who more than likely had family and friends, had passed away and they didn’t know.”