Woman's remains to be exhumed at Anglesey cemetery

Reporter:

Dale Spridgeon

A WOMAN’S body is to be exhumed as part of a police investigation to identify human remains discovered on Anglesey over 20 years ago.

The exhumation on Tuesday, at Ynys Wen cemetery, in Valley, near Holyhead, is part of an on-going inquiry to identify the remains discovered in Cable Bay, Anglesey, on October 31, 1994.  

North Wales Police will be acting for HM Coroner Mr Dewi Pritchard Jones during the process the cemetery will be closed for the day whilst police and forensic experts examine the remains.

The exhumation follows a protracted investigation under Operation Orchid where detectives from North Wales Police are using the latest DNA technology to help identify human remains discovered in the region over the last five decades.  

DC Don Kenyon who is leading the investigation said: “We combine the latest advances in DNA technology and traditional investigative methods to help conclude enquiries started years ago to help bring some closure to families who have lived with uncertainty for such a long time.

“Criminality is not suspected in any of the cases and the focus of the operation is simply to identify, reunite and allow the dignity of a funeral service for family and friends to pay their respects.”

“On October 31, 1994, a member of the public walking the shoreline in Cable Bay Anglesey discovered human remains but despite an extensive police investigation at the time all enquiries made to identify the ‘adult female’ proved fruitless and a subsequent Coronial Inquest in March 1995 returned an ‘open verdict.” 

Her death was not treated as suspicious and the remains were interred at Ynys Wen cemetery shortly after.  

“As a result of our investigations, and with the assistance of the Missing Person Bureau and the Gardaí in Ireland,  we now believe that the remains are those of Pauline Finlay who went missing from her Co. Wexford home in the Republic of Ireland on 25th March 1994,” DC Kenyon said.  

“We have been able to identify family members in Eire and have kept them fully aware of developments. We hope to return Pauline to her family as soon as possible to grant her and her family the dignity and comfort of a full funeral service. “

Before the exhumation begins, and at the family’s request, a local Catholic Priest will conduct a brief graveside blessing.    

DC Kenyon added: “I am also very conscious of the feelings of the families of all those buried in the cemetery and sensitivities in the surrounding community.

“I can assure all that due regard and respect will be paid during the process which we hope to have concluded by late afternoon. Our thoughts remain with Pauline and her family at this difficult time.”

Email:

dale.spridgeon@nwn.co.uk

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