POLICE have launched a national appeal to identify a man whose remains were found close to a main road near Cirencester.

The death of the man, whose remains were discovered in May last year near the Bathurst Estate in Cirencester, close to the A419 Stroud Road, is not being treated as suspicious.

Martin Cuffe, crime scene co-ordinator with Gloucestershire Police, said the remains had lain undiscovered for more than a year, but it was possible it could have been even longer.

Initial reports suggested the man may have been homeless, however police believe it may be someone who regularly travelled between different areas in Gloucestershire.

A forestry worker discovered the remains of the man on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 1 last year.

Despite completing initial investigations including forensic and DNA examinations, officers have been unable to identify the body.

Police believe he was a white man between 5ft5 and 5ft8 who may have been of a large build, and that he was around 28-31 years old – however, this is not definite and he could have been anywhere between the ages of 28 and 55.

When found, the body was clothed in a black and dark grey Peter Storm raincoat, a blue short sleeved shirt with hand stitched repairs and a black gilet and blue trousers with a dark leather belt.

Dark trainers with a white sole and a beige baseball cap were found next to the body.

A small Sony wireless FM radio, aviator sunglasses, a wind up torch and a Karrimor rucksack, which had a white plastic bag covering it in an attempt to waterproof it, were found nearby.

A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said: “We have recently used the services of an expert in facial reconstruction to create an image of what it is believed the man looked like and we hope that this will also help to identify him.

“No personal items such as a mobile phone or identification were found and because of this we would say that the man was isolated and of a transient character.

“Due to the location where the remains were discovered, it’s believed that he may have been travelling between Cirencester and Stroud – this leads us to think that the he may have regularly travelled between different areas of the county.”

Mr Cuffe added: “We have now exhausted a lot of the forensic enquiries we could do to scientifically identify this person.

"We have also done a lot of police investigations and tried to identify him through those means and we are at a point now where we need some assistance from the public to help us generate a name.

“This is going to be someone’s father, somebody’s brother, somebody’s son or somebody’s close friend and someone out there is going to be missing him.

“If anyone who has got any idea on who this person might be, get in touch with us so we can give some closure to his family.”

If you know of anyone who matches the above description that you haven’t seen for some time, or believe that you’ve previously driven past this man within the county, call police on 101 quoting Operation Octave.

Any information can also be submitted via email at Op.Octave@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk