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M54 body: Oldbury victim made 999 call days before he vanished

By Jordan Reynolds | Oldbury | Crime | Published:

An Oldbury man whose body was found near the M54 called 999 days before he was reported missing, an inquest heard today.

Surjit Takhar

Surjit Singh Takhar was 37 when he was reported missing from his home by his family in October 2008.

Seven years later, in August 2015, maintenance workers found his remains at the bottom of an embankment at junction four of the M54 near Telford.

Coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, John Ellery, today recorded an open conclusion.

At the inquest in Telford, Detective Inspector James Munro said Mr Takhar, a delivery driver from Oldbury, had called 999 on October 1, 2008, after someone had come to his home. He was formally reported missing days later.

Det Insp Munro said: “Surjit Takhar was reported missing by his sister. We originally dealt with a missing person report, which was concluded and no further action was taken.

“Remains were found by the M54. Ninety per cent of a skeleton was found, and several items of clothing but no shoes. There was evidence of injury, fractures to the nose and wrist. Examinations of the bones were carried out and it was clear they were in place for some time. The body was clearly placed where it was found.”

Three people were arrested and interviewed in December last year, with a further arrest being made shortly afterwards. All those arrested have been released without charge.

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Det Insp Munro added: “He had a very chaotic lifestyle before he went missing. Surjit had owned money to some of these people before his death and some of the debts had been ongoing.

"Surjit made a 999 call on October 1 when someone came to his flat, so we know he was alive then. It is of great disappointment that we have not been able to find how Surjit met this death.”

The inquest heard the cause of death was "unascertained due to skeletonisation".

Mr Ellery recorded an open conclusion but added: "Should any further information come to light which could answer some of the questions then West Midlands Police would reopen the investigation, and I would consider reopening the inquest."

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Addressing Mr Takhar's family, he said: "It's a great disappointment to you as a family because we don't know what happened."

Mr Takhar's relatives declined to comment.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Reporter for the Shropshire Star covering Shrewsbury and the surrounding areas.

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