Date: 25 Feb 2014
Place: Perranporth Beach, Cornwall
Alan Jeal was found dead and naked on Perranporth Beach with a broken back and a sock and pair of headphones stuffed in his mouth.
He had only been wearing socks and had one walking boot on.
He was last seen on CCTV outside Bridge Tools in Wadebridge on Wednesday 25 February 2014.
He had travelled by bus on Monday 24 February 2014 through Truro, Newquay and Perranporth but it was not known why.
Alan Jeal had lived alone in St Giles House in Wadebridge. He was seen in Wadebridge at 12.10pm on Monday 24 February 2014 in CCTV footage taking out money from a Barclays cash machine on Molesworth Street, although it was not revealed how much. He had been wearing a blue check shirt at the time.
He was later seen at 4.45pm outside Bridge Tools on Gonvena Hill. He had then been wearing a light-blue raincoat that was never found and carrying a rucksack. He was walking in the direction of Wadebridge town centre and it was thought that he had just left his flat in St Giles House. It was then thought that he had taken the number 594 bus to Truro.
Alan Jeal was then seen to arrive in Truro at Lemon Quay bus station at 6.14pm. At 6.30pm he was seen walking towards the public toilets at The Leats. The police noted that a man wearing shorts and a waterproof jacket might have seen him. Alan Jeal was later seen walking along in Boscawen Street at 6.36pm. The police said that he was then seen walking back to Lemon Quay bus station at 6.45pm.
He was next seen in Newquay at 8.16pm on CCTV getting off a bus at the bus station there and was then seen on other CCTV cameras walking about the town centre and down Bank Street towards Marcus Hill. He was then seen walking back to Newquay bus station at about 9pm where he then caught a bus at 9.15pm to Perranporth.
He reached Perranporth between 10.25 to 10.27pm where he was seen for the last time walking along Beach Road near to the place where his body was found.
He was found the next day by a woman walking a dog at about 2pm Wednesday 25 February 2014. He was on the sand near the Watering Hole and the tide was high.
He had injuries to his chest, hand, head and had a broken back as well as a scalp injury and other internal injuries. The police said that his head injury could not have been caused by him drowning or being flung about against the rocks and sand by the actions of the sea.
It was heard that there were signs that he might possibly have drowned, but the post-mortem was inconclusive which was said to have complicated the situation further.
The headphones in his mouth were white Apple iPhone/iPod-style headphones and it was found that the wire had gone into his mouth, around the rolled-up sock in his mouth and then come out the other side.
A navy Regatta jacket was found near his body, but it wasn't the one that he had been wearing the previous day, although the police said that they thought that he might have had it in his rucksack. In the jacket the police found his wallet with a picture of him when he was two-years-old dated 1952. He also had £95 in cash on him.
A rucksack and a woolly hat were also found near him, but the police said that they didn't know if it had been the same rucksack that he had been seen with in the CCTV the previous day, or another one. It was also not known whether the woolly hat had been his either. His other shoe was also later found on the beach.
The police said that the rest of the clothing that he had been wearing was never found, including the light blue raincoat that he had had on in the CCTV footage the day before.
The police said that they were not able to find any of his other belongings which they said included a Barclays Bank current account card, a Barclaycard credit card, a Nokia 1110i mobile phone and a third generation iPod shuffle, which they said indicated that he might have been robbed.
The police noted that Alan Jeal had previously bought a 10kg weighted training vest and 2kg ankle weights but said that they had not been able to find those anywhere. The police said that thy didn't know why he had bought the items but said that they had not discounted the possibility that he had been planning to drown himself.
The police added that the fact that Alan Jeal had had the sock and headphone cable in his mouth had particularly baffled them, and they said that they had not ruled out the possibility that he had died during an act of auto-eroticism. The police also noted that parts of the dunes where Alan Jeal was found were commonly used for gay men to have sex, but they said that they had no evidence to indicate that Alan Jeal was gay. However, they made an appeal for members of the local gay community to come forward with any information that might be able to assist their enquiry.
The police further noted that Alan Jeal had been born and bred in Cornwall and had been a keen surfer when he grew up in Polzeath and said that he had spent a lot of time in Perranporth when he was younger and could have had fond memories of the area. They noted that whilst he had been unemployed when he died, he had previously worked in the electrical trade and in scientific research.
They said that he had moved to Wadebridge in 2004 and lived a solitary life, rarely interacting with others.
However, the police noted that Alan Jeal had a number of interests and that he played squash to a high standard in local leagues and had been in the Oyster Catcher pool team. He was also noted as having been interested in sports cars, photography, bee keeping, mining and mineral collecting and was noted for reading a vast number of books, being a huge fan of science fiction and detective genres. He was also said to have enjoyed computing, online gaming and computer programming. A friend of his said that he was a very intelligent man and noted that he had previously been part of the technician team that had helped a research doctor with his Nobel Prize-winning research at the Glynn Research Institute in Bodmin.
An open verdict was returned, with the investigating police officers concluding that his death was unexplained.