Human remains found in southern Tasmania may have Swiss link

Police released a photo extracted from an SD found near human remains, which may have a link with Switzerland.
Police released a photo extracted from an SD found near human remains, which may have a link with Switzerland.

DNA testing may help identify human remains after a man from Switzerland has come forward, claiming the missing man as his brother.

Tasmania Police is liaising with Swiss authorities in a bid to establish the identity of the deceased person  found in the Huon Valley in southern Tasmania by two Hobart bushwalkers.

The Swiss man contacted police, believing the missing man to be his brother who as last seen by his family in 2010 before the 44-year-old man left to go travelling.

Detective Acting Sergeant Michael Manning said a DNA sample will be sought from the Swiss man to establish whether there is a relationship with the deceased.


“We cannot confirm the identity of the deceased person until DNA testing is complete. Swiss police will assist with liaising with the family and obtaining a DNA sample from the Swiss man,” Mr Manning said.

An image extracted from an SD card found near the human remains may have presented Tasmania Police with a fresh lead.

Testing will take place at Forensic Science Service Tasmania with fingerprints and items found near the body being forensically tested.

“The investigation involves attempting to determine the deceased’s movements prior to his death. At this stage there’s very little information as to how the man came to be at the location,” Mr Manning said.

“Every effort is being made to complete the process as quickly as possible to bring the family some closure about what happened to their loved one.

“At this stage the identity of the deceased person remains unknown and we urge anyone who can assist police to identify this man to contact us.”

A backpack was located near human skeletal remains in Tasmania.

Mr Manning confirmed the cause of death remained undetermined and a full forensic examination continued, which could take “some time”.

The circumstances around the deceased’s death are not being treated as suspicious.

Police said the remains appeared to have been there for “a number of years” and that the person was probably from interstate or overseas.

A backpack was also located, containing Swiss francs, Hong Kong dollars and receipts suggesting the currency was exchanged in Zurich, Switzerland on December 21, 2010.

The lack of a sleeping bag or tent at the scene signified that the deceased was not prepared for an overnight journey.

A report is being prepared for the coroner.