Two suitcases containing ‘human remains’ found on landmark Bristol bridge

A manhunt has been launched after two suitcases appearing to contain human remains were found at the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol.

Police were called to reports of a man with a suitcase acting suspiciously on the landmark bridge just before midnight on Wednesday, but when officers arrived less than 10 minutes later the man had left, leaving the suitcase behind.

A second suitcase was found nearby a short time later.

A police helicopter and the Coastguard are helping Avon and Somerset Police locate the man, who was taken to the bridge in a taxi.

He is described as black with a beard, wearing a black Adidas baseball cap, black jeans, a black jacket, white trainers and had a black backpack.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge visitor centre is closed due to the police activity.

The Grade I listed landmark, which spans the Avon Gorge, was designed by noted Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1864.

Acting Bristol Commander Vicks Hayward-Melen said: “An immediate search of the area was carried out by officers on the ground with the support of the National Police Air Service and HM Coastguard following the discovery of the suitcases.

“These searches remain ongoing.

“Initial inquiries have established the man was taken to the bridge in a taxi.

“This vehicle has been seized and the driver is helping us with our inquiries.

“Specialist crime scene investigators are currently examining the bridge and surrounding area, and the bridge will remain closed while these inquiries are conducted.”

A post-mortem examination will take place later on Thursday.

Carla Denyer, MP for Bristol Central, posted on X: “I am deeply disturbed by the horrifying discovery of human remains at Clifton Suspension Bridge overnight.

“Distressing events like this are unsettling for all of us who call Bristol home and are proud of our city.

“Thank you @ASPolice for your swift action. I am in contact with authorities and will do anything I can to support a swift and thorough investigation.”