Image released of man after suitcase remains found

Police have released images of the man they are looking to find after two suitcases containing human remains were found on Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol.

A man was seen with a suitcase acting suspiciously on the bridge just before midnight on Wednesday.

When officers arrived less than ten minutes later the man had left, leaving the suitcase behind, and a short time later a second suitcase was found.

Avon and Somerset Police has launched a manhunt to find a man described as black with a beard.

They say he was wearing a black Adidas baseball cap, black jeans, a black jacket, black trainers with thick white soles and had a black backpack.

He was also wearing a gold earring.

Officers are asking members of the public to call 0800 056 0944 if they can help.

A black man with a cap
Police say they are aware the event is causing a concern to the community [Avon and Somerset Police]
A black man with black top and black trainers
Police are searching for this man [Avon and Somerset Police ]

Initial inquiries established the man was taken to the bridge in a taxi, the force said.

The taxi driver's vehicle has been seized and the driver is helping officers.

A witness told the BBC he saw suitcases on the bridge while a cyclist chased off what is thought to be the suspect.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Acting Bristol Commander Vicks Haywood-Melen said they were asking anyone who may recognise the man to get in touch.

"This is a very disturbing incident and I fully recognise the concern it will cause in our communities."

"Our immediate priority is to locate the man who took the suitcases to the bridge, identify the deceased and inform their next of kin," she said.

She added the man was seen heading off to Leigh Woods and searches using CCTV were on-going.

A drone shot showing the Clifton Suspension Bridge and a tent on a pavement
A forensics tent was seen on the Leigh Woods side of the bridge [BBC]
A white tent and cordon have been set up by police
The roads on both sides of the bridge have been closed [BBC]

The roads around the bridge, as well as surrounding footpaths, remain closed while investigators examine the area.

The police helicopter was tracked over the bridge on Wednesday night.

Police officers manning the Bristol side of the Suspension Bridge are turning pedestrians away from the scene.

The visitors centre has also been shut to allow the police investigation to continue.

Map of Bristol showing the Suspension Bridge
A police officer holding up an image of a man
Chief Inspector Vicks Haywood-Melen gave a conference to media [BBC]

Acting Bristol Commander Vicks Hayward-Melen said: “Our immediate priority is to locate the man who took the suitcases to the bridge, identify the deceased, and inform their next of kin.

“Specialist officers are ready to provide them with any support they need.”

She added that a post-mortem examination would take place later on Thursday.

Reece Wright, a 20-year-old University of Bristol student, saw some of the commotion on the bridge last night.

He said it was a "frightening experience". He described seeing suitcases left on the bridge while a cyclist chased someone, thought to be the suspect, off.

"It was all very unexpected. I was trying to rationalise it.

"I thought someone had had a fight and then saw the suitcase and thought it was weird.

"We kept on walking across through the Leigh Woods part towards Burwalls when we saw another suitcase, a silver one."

Two people with hi-vis jackets looking at a silver suitcase
A suitcase was discovered by bridge staff late last night [Reece Wright ]

Carla Denyer, the new Green MP for Bristol Central, said she has been left "deeply disturbed" by the "horrifying" incident.

Speaking on X, she said: "Distressing events like this are unsettling for all of us who call Bristol home and are proud of our city."

She thanked police for their swift action, adding she was in touch with authorities.

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