Missing Keith search played down

Times Series: Keith Bennett was killed by Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley Keith Bennett was killed by Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley

The brother of missing Moors murder victim Keith Bennett has distanced himself from claims a fresh hunt for his remains is to begin.

Alan Bennett said reports of a new search for his brother's body on the Moors was of "no great importance or relevance".

And David Jones, who has been involved in searching for Keith Bennett in the past, said no new searches were planned and no current search was under way.

Mr Jones said searches would not be done now anyway as it is coming up to the anniversary of June 16, 1964 when the 12-year-old was snatched by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley before being murdered along with four other youngsters and buried somewhere on the Moors above Manchester.

Keith is the only victim whose remains have never been found.

Mr Jones added: "Nothing is happening I'm afraid. Hopefully we will be going back there but we don't know when."

Mr Bennett, writing on his website, www.searchingforkeith.com, said: "There are reports of a search being conducted on the moor starting on 16th June.

"Neither myself nor anybody connected with me or to me, professionally or otherwise, has anything to do with this.

"I believe it will go the same way as the other unofficial searches of the past and therefore is of no great importance or relevance and is being led by or following people with theories that have no real basis or evidence to back it up.

"No proper professional search of this area could be conducted without proper consultation and guidance from the people involved with past searches, those in possession of up to date and accurate locations and information regarding that area."

Police have spent five decades searching for Keith's remains and made one last massive effort in 2008 using the latest technology to scour the Moors.

But they failed to locate his body and declared in 2009 that, without significant new information coming to light, the search was at an end.

Professor John Hunter, an archaeologist specialising in finding the graves of missing people who advised police and personally undertook searches across Saddleworth has said there is no other case in the UK of a missing person where police and other resources have been used so much so long after the event.

The failure of "official" searches has not stopped other individuals or groups from making their own searches periodically on the Moors.

Winnie Johnson, Keith's mother, died in August 2012, after pleading in vain with Brady and Hindley to help searchers find his body.

Brady and his partner Hindley murdered five youngsters in the 1960s, luring the children and teenagers to their deaths and sexually torturing them before burying them on Saddleworth Moor.

Pauline Reade, 16, disappeared on her way to a disco on July 12, 1963 and John Kilbride, 12, was snatched in November the same year.

Keith was taken on June 16, 1964 after he left home to visit his grandmother; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, was killed in October 1965.

Brady was jailed for life in 1966 for the murders of John, Lesley Ann and Edward. Hindley was convicted of killing Lesley Ann and Edward and shielding Brady after John's murder, and also given a life sentence. In 1987 the pair finally admitted killing Keith and Pauline.

Hindley died in jail in November 2002 aged 60, while Brady is held at the high-security Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside.

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