Unsolved Murders


Age: 5

Sex: female

Date: 23 Mar 1961

Place: A321, Wargrave, Berkshire

The skeletal remains of a 5-year-old girl were found buried in a wood in Wargrave, Berkshire on the morning of 23 March 1961.

The child's skull was fractured.

It was found by an ordnance surveyor that lived in The Flat, Paradise Farm House, Henley,  just outside of Wargrave. He said that he saw some bones sticking out of a roadside bank on the A321 on the north side of Wargrave about a mile out, and when he looked he found a human skull and informed the police.

He said that it had been lying beneath thick ivy on a steep bank. He said that when he searched further that he found other bones that made up an almost complete skeleton. He said that they were beneath a large decayed tree.

The police said, 'These bones were found during March this year, and were thought to be at least 100 years old, although there has since been an opinion that they may be more recent. It is the skeleton of a girl, estimated to be between three and six years old, which is incomplete and shows no evidence as to the cause of death'.

At the inquest a pathologist from Scotland Yard's laboratory said that he thought that the skeleton had been buried at least two years earlier but probably not more than 10 to 15 years.

The bones were also examined by an anatomist at the London Hospital Medical School who said that he thought that they were those of a girl aged five-and-a-half to six years and 3ft 8in to 3ft 10in tall. He added that there was a fracture on the right side of the skull that had occurred at or before death and could have been the result of a blow that had caused death.

A detective said that inquiries throughout the country showed that no child of the dead girl's measurements had been reported missing. He said that residents who had lived in the district for many years were interviewed and records searched and inquired made of children's and medical services.

When the Coroner summed up he said to the jury, 'You may think the evidence of the fracture is not sufficient to suggest she died as a result of foul play'.

An open verdict was returned. However, the jury added that there was a strong suspicion of foul play surrounding the find.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Daily Mirror - Friday 13 October 1961

see Reading Standard - Friday 13 October 19613

see Reading Standard - Friday 16 June 1961

see Reading Standard - Friday 24 March 1961