The mystery over the identity of two bodies unearthed by police in the back garden of a English suburban house deepened yesterday after it emerged that the elderly couple who once lived there were still sending Christmas cards to relatives as recently as 2009.
Detectives excavated the garden at the semi-detached property in Forest Town, Mansfield, last week after learning of an "incident" around 15 years ago.
There were reports yesterday that the bodies were those of William Wycherley and his wife Patricia, who had lived at the house until the late 1990s when, according to neighbours, they suddenly 'disappeared'.
But family members have cast doubt on the theory that the remains are those of the Wycherleys and yesterday revealed correspondence suggesting the couple were still alive until relatively recently.
If still living, Mr Wycherley would now be 100 and his wife would be 79.
But Mr Wycherley's niece, Hilary Rose, of Stone, Staffs, said her mother continued to receive Christmas cards signed 'Bill and Pat' until four years ago.
"I know this because my mother died in September 2009 and a Christmas card arrived two months later," she said.
Tests to establish the identity of the bodies could take weeks or even months, say police.
- THE DAILY MAIL