Unsolved Murders

Vishal Mehrotra

Age: 8

Sex: male

Date: 29 Jul 1981

Place: Durford Abbey Farm, Rogate, Midhurst

Vishal Mehrotra vanished in London on 29 July 1981 and his remains were later found in 1982 in marshland at Durford Abbey Farm, Rogate.

His father said that he thought that the police had covered up his murder and that he had been taken to the Elm Guest House and murdered.

His remains, a skull and several rib bones, were found by pigeon shooters. The other parts of his body, legs, pelvis and lower spine were not found. Neither were the clothes that he had been wearing when he vanished ever found. He had been wearing Superman underpants and a sleeveless vest.

He had disappeared whilst returning home in Putney, from a shopping trip with his nanny and sister in central London shortly after watching coverage of Lady Diana and Prince Charles's wedding on the television.

Soon after Vishal Mehrotra disappeared his father received a letter from a man that said that he might know the identity of a man that he thought had taken Vishal Mehrotra to Durford Abbey Farm from Putney. The police actually traced the writer of the letter, but no developments were made.

An open verdict was returned at his inquest in 1983, but the Coroner said that he thought that foul play was likely.

The police said that they carried out a case review into his murder in 2005 but with no new developments. The investigation into his his murder was called 'Operation Moor' and the police said that anyone with any new information should reference that.

It was reported in 2020 that the police interviewed three men that had been convicted and given prison sentences for child abuse at a school in the south east over Vishal Mehrotra's disappearance and that it was found that one of them had written a confidential report in 1983 that he titled 'Vishal', which was about caring for Asian children in the UK. However, the police said that they had no plans to make any further inquiries.

It was reported that two of the three men questioned in 2019 had told the police that there had been paedophile sex rings operating at the time and that the man that had written the reported titled 'Vishal' had been interviewed by the BBC and had told them that the report had focussed on a teenage child that he had visited in Southall that he had been attracted to. The man also admitted to being part of a paedophile sex ring in the 1980s and that he had sexually abused two Asian boys whilst working at a school for disadvantaged children.

However, he said that the report had nothing to do with Vishal and that he regretted naming the report after him. He added that he could not remember where he was on the day that he disappeared, the day of the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana.

In October 2020 more information was reported stating that one of the three men questioned in 2019, who was known to Vishal Mehrotra and who been acquitted of sexually abusing young boys in 2014, was said to have driven a car similar to one that was seen near to Durford Abbey Farm where Vishal Mehrotra was later found. Other information was reported stating that an abuse victim had given details about a person employed by the social services at the time who had had an obsession with tying boys up, adding that the man had taken him and other boys from London to other care homes across the south east.

Following the disclosure in October 2020 it was reported hat a former policeman had described the new information as a turning point and said that the case should be reopened.

The Elm Guest House in Barnes, less than a mile from where Vishal Mehrotra vanished, was the centre of a major controversy and conspiracy regarding paedophile activity and politicians and was raided in 1982 and shut down. One of the owners, Carole Kasir, later died mysteriously in 1990 and it was claimed that she had been murdered because she had had information regarding paedophiles, including judges and politicians, that had stayed at the Elm Guest House for paedophile parties. Vishal Mehrotra's father later said that he had been given information that Vishal Mehrotra had been abducted by a paedophile ring associated with the guest house and taken there. However, he said that the police had ignored the information. Vishal Mehrotra's father, a retired magistrate, said that there had been a 'huge cover-up' over the case.

Carole Kasir and her husband were convicted of 'running a disorderly house' and each fined £1,000 and given suspended sentences. Carole Kasir later claimed that child protection officers had supplied children from Grafton Close Children’s Home which was run by the council, for child sex parties at the guest house and supplied a list of names of people that had attended, including the names of politicians.

It was also claimed that Martin Allen, a 15-year-old who vanished on 5 November 1979, might also have ended up at the Elm Guest House. His family also claimed that there had been a cover up over his disappearance and were later told that his case files had been lost in a freak flood. His brother also said that he was told by the police that if he looked too deep into the case that he might get hurt.

At the time, 20,000 people were interviewed by the police over Vishal Mehrotra's disappearance, with half of them being from the Putney area, and 6,000 properties were checked.

In June 2020 it was revealed that a known child abuser had confessed to killing Vishal Mehrotra but that he had quickly withdrawn his confession and the lead was not taken much further as the man was considered to have been an inveterate liar.

In October 2023 it was reported that a man recalled seeing a bronze coloured P or R registered car, with two doors parked near the wood where Vishal Mehrotra was later found. He said that he wrote down the car registration at the time, but that because nothing was ported in the area shortly after he lost the note that he had made. It was seven months later that Vishal Mehrotra's body was found. He had come forward after a television appeal and it was later stated that the car matched the description of a car associated with another known people who had since died.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

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