On February 25th, 2014, dog-walkers enjoying a nice day out on Perranporth Beach in Cornwall made the disturbing discovery of a corpse, washed up during the high tide. When emergency services arrived, they immediately noted that several aspects were very suspicious: Multiple cuts and bruises were present over the man’s body, which a pathologist later confirmed had been sustained while the victim was still alive. He was also completely naked, apart from socks and a single shoe. The conditions were not stormy, so it was impossible for the man’s clothes to have ripped from his body as he was thrown about in the waves. Strangest of all, was that the mystery man’s mouth had been stuffed with someone else’s sock and a pair of iPhone headphones. But who was he?
A week since the incident, and the frantic family of missing Cornish local, Alan Eric Jeal were devastated after hearing the news they’d all dreaded; That their relative– a funny, relaxed, family man, was the victim. As the investigation continued, mysterious clues kept cropping up that baffled police. Further down the beach, a backpack containing a raincoat and Mr. Jeal’s other shoe was discovered. An old black & white photograph of Jeal as a child was found partially buried in sand. Why would he be carrying a childhood photograph around with him? Or did somebody put it there? As police were unable to locate some of Mr Jeal’s other belongings, including bank cards, a Nokia mobile, and an iPod shuffle, it was widely suspected that he had been robbed. After his post-mortem, it was revealed that death had occurred as a direct result of head and chest injuries, rather than drowning.
5 years on, and Alan Jeal’s death remains unsolved. His family are convinced that foul play was involved due to the fact he appeared to be gagged with a sock. Despite the suspicious circumstances, a coroner reported that “this may be a very unusual suicide or an accident.” as the injuries are consistent with somebody who fell from a great height. With such little evidence to go on, the case is likely to remain a mystery.