Police have revealed they have a full DNA profile of a man who was found at the bottom of the Clifton Suspension Bridge 27 years ago with a bizarre list of items in his pockets, including a Bible and a whistle.
Officers now say they only need a name to finally solve a mystery that has remained unsolved for nearly three decades.
It is believed that the young man did he fell from a bridge onto the River Avon in May 1996, sustaining serious injuries.
Attempts to identify him proved futile, although clear passport-sized photos were found in his possession, possibly showing him as a younger man.
Other unusual items included a book of Batman stories, a penny whistle and a library copy of Thomas More’s 1516 book “Utopia.”
Unidentified man found on the banks of the River Avon with passport photos believed to show him as a younger man
He is believed to have fallen from a suspension bridge in Clifton in the summer of 1996
He was found on the banks of the River Avon on May 19 after suffering serious injuries, and attempts to identify him despite his striking appearance proved futile.
However, police now say that even though the routine use of DNA was in its infancy at the time, they have his full profile, meaning his ID could be revealed if someone simply gave them his name.
Charity Locate International appealed for help in finding the man earlier this year, publishing a new photo by forensic artist Hew Morrison showing what the man may have looked like shortly before his death.
Now dubbed the ‘Clifton Suspension Bridge Man’ he was carrying a bag of belongings including a pack of Silk Cut cigarettes, a Bible, a copy of ‘Utopia’ which was missing its outer cover and which was stamped ‘property of West Glamorgan Council’. ‘
He was between 25 and 35 years old and had a handwritten cardboard sign on him: “Thank you, I sleep rough.”
He was white, 180 cm tall, with light brown hair reaching to his collar and blue eyes.
He was of medium build, wearing blue jeans, a black sweatshirt, and a black leather jacket with a checkered cloth hat.
Other items he was carrying were a paperback book called The Greatest Batman Stories, a UK AZ map, a London Shopper bag, a Eurohike Adventure guide map, a black sleeping bag, a green towel, a blue umbrella, a black corkscrew, an empty Barclays bank voucher , three disposable razors, a shaving stick, Lynx body spray, a yellow toothbrush, a tin opener, a red penny whistle, a white mug and £6.61 in cash.
The travel card found with the body contained photos clearly showing the victim, but frustratingly there was no name on it and it is believed they were somewhat out of date.
He also had a distinctive mole on his left cheek.
Missing persons organization Locate International has released new forensic photos showing what the man on the Clifton Suspension Bridge may have looked like when he died
Earlier this year, missing persons charity Locate International released new photos created by a forensic artist showing what he may have looked like before his death.
Investigators also hope that a list of items the unidentified man was carrying when he was found will shed light on who he was.
Avon and Somerset Police say that as there were no suspicious circumstances they closed the case immediately after it was referred to the Avon Coroner.
Due to the sign and the large selection of items he had with him, it was postulated that he may have slept outdoors for several weeks before his death.
The day he was found was Sunday.
That afternoon, the Monaco Grand Prix was televised and Olivier Panis won his only race ever.
The previous weekend, Man United beat Liverpool 1-0 in the FA Cup final, with Eric Cantona scoring the only goal.
The previous evening, the Eurovision Song Contest was also televised, won by Eimear Quinn from Ireland with her song The Voice.
There were reports in the Sunday newspapers of a pregnant nine-year-old girl and an imminent IRA ceasefire.
It is believed that the man may have belonged to the squatter community in Bristol, which was large in the mid-1990s.
“We believe he must have been visiting or traveling somewhere,” said Dave Grimstead, CEO and co-founder of Locate International.
“So we are sure that someone somewhere must have had contact with him or remembered him.
“It could have been around Bristol or anywhere else in the UK.
“Ask yourself if this is someone you have met – perhaps on the street, playing with a penny whistle, or traveling around the country.
“He could have been an interesting and memorable person to talk to and had a variety of interests, so someone out there must remember meeting him.”
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed a full DNA profile of the man had been secured.
He said: “We have a full DNA profile of this man.
“It is uploaded to the national missing persons database.
“If anyone suggests a possible name, we will try to compare that profile to any living relatives.”