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Media briefing notes from Haut de la Garenne

NOTES FROM 15.50 PRESS CONFRENCE AT HAUT DE LA GARENNE RELEASED TO MEDIA AT 18 00 hours on WEDNESDAY 21 MAY


 As a result of excavating the cellar areas since 17 April and an ongoing sieving operation, around 30 bone fragments have now been found from those areas (cellars 3 and 4)

 Ten of these bone fragments were found yesterday (in an ashy area of cellar 3) and identified as being human, (Tuesday 20 May) while around 20 were found in the last two weeks.

 So far, from those areas, seven children's teeth have been found, one this morning. Of these teeth, six have been positively identified by one expert as being children's teeth, and three of them have been identified by two experts as definitely being children's teeth.

 The bone fragments found have been identified as being human. Some of these have already been sent to the UK for testing. What we do NOT have yet is a date from experts to pinpoint the era of these bones. We have received date indications but these conflict and are not close together.

 We have been told by experts both that the bone fragments fall within the date of our enquiry and also that they could date well before the enquiry. We know that the date could be pivotal to the direction of the enquiry “ and because of the conflict we have decided to get all the teeth tested in the UK.

 Of the ten bone fragments found yesterday, at least two of them exhibited a ˜mechanical fit.'

 Some of the bones are already in the UK, but our intention now is to send off all of them for testing.

 Regarding the teeth, of the six we have sent to the UK, five of these cannot have come out naturally before death, and only one of the six has signs of decay. The rest have a lot of root attached. We have been told that teeth could come out naturally during the decomposition process.

 Regarding working at the home, the team are still sieving rubble and have gone through tons and tons of it. It is testament to their hard work and professionalism that the teeth and bone fragments have been found within the sieved material as some of them are extremely small.

 When we have had all the bone fragments tested in the UK, we will (in a few weeks) be able to give a ˜bone by bone' account via the media.

 Some of the bones exhibit signs of burning, and some show signs of being cut. This means that we COULD have the possibility of an unexplained death “ and evidence of a dead child or children in the cellar. There was a fireplace area in the cellar

 It d"s NOT mean that yet, we are launching a homicide enquiry. That depends on the dates which we receive back on all the bones. What we do know is that we have more than one set of teeth and we have more than one set of bones.

 There is still sieving to be done at the site.

 It is possible that we may be able to find DNA from the teeth and bones.

 What we do not know yet regarding the bone fragments and teeth, is who that person is, or how they died.

 Haut de la Garenne remains an ongoing forensic scene and away from the site, the abuse enquiry continues in town at Police Headquarters in St Helier where the team continue to take statements from victims and witnesses.

 

VICTIMS AND SUSPECTS:
 Regarding suspects and victims, the enquiry continues. We now have narrowed down the victim numbers to 116, (formerly approx 160) and the number of suspects/people of interest is 70 (all living).

 We currently have an NSPCC counsellor in Jersey working with the enquiry team available between 8 am and 8 pm. The number to call, should any victims of abuse wish to speak to the counsellor, which is the dedicated incident room numbe, is 0800 735 7777.

 

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