Manchester, England – A 13 month old mystery that had police in the United Kingdom trying to identify a dead body found on a Northern England moor has finally been solved, with the deceased being accorded a proper Jewish burial.
It was a bicyclist who discovered the lifeless body at Saddleworth Moor on December 12th, 2015, reported The Guardian (http://bit.ly/2mLkKhF) and Detective Sergeant John Coleman of the Greater Manchester Police immediately noted several unusual details: the man, who appeared to be approximately 70 years old, had no cell phone, keys, watch, wallet or any kind of identification.
And while most hikers who would have donned appropriate gear for the eight mile, four hour hike to Greater Manchester’s Chew reservoir during the colder months, the unidentified dead man was wearing just a light jacket, street clothes and slip-on Bally shoes.
An attempt to cross check the dead man’s DNA against both criminal and missing persons records proved fruitless, but several used train tickets in his pockets gave police enough information to track the man’s movements on the stations’ closed circuit television cameras.
Over the next few weeks, post mortem investigations gave police two further clues: a toxic dose of strychnine in his bloodstream, and a titanium rod in his femur that was only manufactured and implanted in Pakistan.
For months the identity of the deceased remained unknown until late January when authorities were able to match an artist’s drawing of the dead man to a passport photo of 67 year old David Lytton, who had flown from Pakistan to the United Kingdom just days before the body was found, reported BBC News (http://bbc.in/2nqjDlT).
Originally of London, Lytton had been living in Pakistan for several years and was known to be exceptionally bright but extremely introverted. While Lytton did have a 35 year relationship with a London nurse that lasted until 2006, the loss of their unborn child in the 1980s proved extremely difficult for Lytton to bear.
“He became withdrawn and quiet and I don’t think things were ever the same with us after that,” recalled the nurse, Maureen Toogood.
Birth records revealed that Lytton was born to Jewish parents, changing his name from Lautenberg to Lytton due to a strained relationship with his father. The local coroner’s office contacted the Manchester Bais Din to request a Jewish burial which was arranged by Misaskim in Manchester.
Among those in attendance at the March 5th funeral were Lytton’s brother, Jeremy, Rabbi Yehoshua Ahron Sofer of Misaskim and representatives of the Greater Manchester Police.
A coroner’s investigation into the matter revealed on Tuesday that Lytton’s death was self-inflicted although it was unclear what prompted Lytton to take his own life or why he chose to end his life at Saddleworth Moor.