Why did naked body found on Cornwall beach have sock stuffed in mouth?

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naked-body-found-perranorth-beach-cornwall-had-sock-in-mouth

A sock was found in the mouth of a man whose naked body washed up on a beach in Cornwall, police have revealed.

Alan Eric Jeal, 64, was found at high tide at 2pm on 25 February on Perranporth beach.

He was only wearing socks and one walking shoe when his body was discovered by a dog walker.

A post-mortem examination found multiple injuries on Mr Jeal's body which are inconsistent with drowning.

Police, who are treating the death as "suspicious", believe Mr Jeal may have been murdered, committed suicide or suffered an accident.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Thorne, senior investigating officer at Devon and Cornwall Police, said he could not explain why the sock was in Mr Jeal's mouth.

"We can't think of an explanation as to why it would be there and this is one of the reasons we are treating Alan's death as suspicious," Mr Thorne said.

"Officers are keeping an open mind as to the cause of his death. Murder is one possibility we are considering, however his death may have been caused by accident or suicide."

Detectives have released a map and a series of CCTV images showing a man, believed to be Mr Jeal, in Truro city centre the evening before his body was discovered.

It is believed Mr Jeal, who lived alone and was not reported missing, took the number 594 bus from Wadebridge to Truro, arriving in the bus station at 6.14pm.

He was seen walking towards the public toilets at The Leats and was last seen at 6.36pm in Boscawen Street, Truro.

Officers are now trying to establish where Mr Jeal, from Wadebridge, went after that and how he travelled to Perranporth.

Mr Thorne added: "We are keen to speak to anyone who saw Alan on Monday 24 February, whether walking, on public transport or in a car.

"We have traced his movements up until 6.36pm in Truro city centre but we need the public's help in establishing where he went after that."

Police previously released a series of photographs of items which were found on Perranporth beach near where Mr Jeal's body was discovered.

A Regatta jacket, wallet and a photograph of a young boy - believed to be Mr Jeal aged two in his family home - are believed to belonged to him.

It is not known whether a woolly hat and a rucksack also belonged to Mr Jeal.

Speaking after Mr Jeal's death, his family released a statement paying tribute to him.

"Alan was a mild-mannered, gentle man who was very interested in minerals, mining and surfing," they said.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened that Alan's life has been cut short, and are desperate for answers as to what happened.

"We appeal for anyone with information about Alan's life and last movements to contact police."

Source: PA

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