Mystery man nicknamed ‘The Gentleman’ found in the North Sea may have spent most of his life in Australia | Australia News


Perth scientists have brought to life a decades-old German mystery about the body of an unknown man found floating in the North Sea, using a new forensic technique that revealed he may have passed most of his life in Australia.

The man, dubbed “The Gentleman” by investigators in 1994 after his body was found by police off Helgoland, a German archipelago, was weighed down by cast iron cobbler’s feet.

He earned the nickname “The Gentleman” due to his elegant clothes; a woolen tie, British-made shoes, French-made trousers and a long-sleeved blue shirt.

The case has baffled German police for 28 years, but criminologists and forensic scientists at Murdoch University may have helped unravel the mystery after carrying out new tests.

They discovered that the man had spent most of his life in Australia. Investigators in the 1990s determined he was between 45 and 50 years old.

The announcement marks Saturday the last day of Australia’s National Missing Persons Week.

Scientists made the discovery by performing an isotope ratio analysis of The Gentleman’s bones.

Differences in climate, soil, and human activity around the world alter the isotopic compositions of food, water, and even dust, which is reflected in the isotopic compositions of human tissues.

Analysis showed that the man likely spent most of his life in Australia.

Researchers from foreign universities were recently able to obtain a DNA profile of the man.

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There is hope it could match DNA collection as part of Missing Persons Week, where authorities have called on Australians to come forward for testing to help solve some of the cold cases from the country.

Brendan Chapman, one of the directors of the Murdoch University Cold Case Review team, said it was an amazing find.

“What are the odds that of this small group of universities working on this case, one is from the man’s home country?” he said.

Investigators are slowly piecing together The Gentleman’s past for years.

The iron tools he was weighed down with were only recently revealed by police, his shoes were expensive and his distinctive green, yellow and blue striped tie may have signaled he belonged to a specific organisation.


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