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Friday, 15 July 2011

COPS investigating a double murder today recovered the charred remains of a body in a burned-out van which had been buried in a pit.

18:28 |

Detectives are expecting to find a second corpse after sifting through the soil-filled vehicle found on farmland.

The find came after semi-professional boxer Brett Flournoy, 31, and pal David Griffiths, 35, disappeared a month ago.

Police are probing whether there is a drugs background to the case.And on Wednesday they arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of double murder.

The suspect lives with his haulier dad on farmland near St Austell, Cornwall.

Specialist dogs were being used to search the area on Thursday. Around 60 officers are working on the investigation and radar and excavation experts were used to help spot the van in the ground at Trenance Downs.

Detective Inspector Costa Nassaris said the buried van was believed to be the Citroen Berlingo Brett and David had used to travel to a hotel in Newquay.

Murder probe ... Brett Flournoy and David Griffiths disappeared last month
He confirmed the remains of at least one victim had been found inside.

And he said: "We believe this is the van we've been looking for, although we haven't been able to positively identify the vehicle at this time as it has extensive fire damage and it's currently full of soil.

"We also believe we've uncovered the remains of at least one individual. A full forensic examination is now taking place.

"The forensic examination of the excavation site, the vehicle and body is a slow and painstaking process and is expected to take at least 48 hours before this element of the investigation is completed."

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police added: "The van has been removed from the site and is now undergoing a very careful forensic search because it is full of soil.

"It may well be that we uncover a second body from it."

He refused to speculate on reports that both men had been shot and added: "I suspect the bodies will probably need a forensic post-mortem because of the state they are in."

The families of both men have been informed.

Dad-of-two Brett, known as Soul Man, was a former welterweight and light middleweight who was a 2005 ABA champion and a champion kickboxer in his teens.

He ran a pub in Bebbington, Merseyside, for two years and spent six years in the Royal Engineers, leaving in 2006.

David, a dad of three, was originally from Plymouth but had been living in Berkshire.

Their families have told cops they were making a "social visit" to Cornwall and were due to meet a friend in St Austell before moving on to Newquay.

The suspect is in custody and police have said they expect to make more arrests.

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