Murder probe continues almost 30 years after body was found in reservoir

1989 - Laurence Winstanley murdered and body found in Baitings resevoir
1989 - Laurence Winstanley murdered and body found in Baitings resevoir

An investigation into the murder of man whose mutilated and decomposed body was found at a Ripponden reservoir almost 30 years ago are following new leads into the crime.

The body of Laurence Winstanley was discovered at Baitings Dam near Ripponden on September 26, 1989.

11 december 1989 - Laurence Winstanley murder body found in Baitings resevoir, Police officers comb the scene for clues

11 december 1989 - Laurence Winstanley murder body found in Baitings resevoir, Police officers comb the scene for clues

The 23-year-old had gone missing from Oldham nearly a year before and died from a gunshot to his head.

West Yorkshire Police detectives have confirmed that an operation in Littleborough was part of their enquiries into the murder.

A spokesperson for the force said: “Police carried out some searches in a pond on Blackstone Edge Road, Littleborough, in Rochdale, in connection with the Laurence Winstanley murder investigation.

“West Yorkshire Police has made a key commitment that a case is never closed until it is resolved. This is to give, where possible, victims and their families’ closure. As part of this commitment to victims we continuously review our undetected homicides and serious sexual offences.”

11 december 1989 - Laurence Winstanley murder body found in Baitings resevoir

11 december 1989 - Laurence Winstanley murder body found in Baitings resevoir

On the 20th anniversary of the crime In 2009 police put up a £10,000 reward to help find the killer.

Mr Winstanley had been badly beaten and an attempt had been made to burn his body.

Before he disappeared Mr Winstanley, who was a partner in a car repair business in Oldham, lived in the Sholver area of the town.

On the day he went missing he went for a drink at his local pub, the Windsor, where he received a telephone call which seemed to concern him.

After leaving the pub, he went to his mother’s house but took over an hour to complete the journey which would normally take a matter of minutes.

He was seen again at the pub later that evening, but no one can be sure what time he left.

He was never seen alive again.

A couple of days after his disappearance, his vehicle, a red Ford Cortina estate, registration number SAT 385W, was taken to a scrap merchant’s in the Oldham area.

When Mr Winstanley was found in the reservoir, his body was wrapped in a curtain which had been weighted down by a pick axe head.