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Body mystery solved as daughter recognises her dad

THE funeral of an unidentified man whose body was found on a Scottish island was halted at the last minute after a Kent woman realised the dead man was her father.

Christopher Gray was found dead in a makeshift shelter near Armadale, on the Isle of Skye nearly 16 months ago. Police made nationwide appeals for information and circulated his dental information but the body remained unidentified.

Officers were planning to have the man buried in a unmarked pauper's grave on the island on Friday. But they made a last minute appeal for information-which was seen on Teletext by Mr Gray's daughter, Deborah Gray, 26, a speech therapist from Hadlow, near Tonbridge.

Miss Gray, who had been living abroad, had not seen her 55-year-old father for eight years. As soon as she contacted police on the Isle of Skye, the Procurator Fiscal cancelled the funeral.

Insp Sandy Gray from the Northern Constabulary said: "Miss Gray is very relieved that her father's remains have been recovered and identified. She's going to visit the spot where his body was found to say her final goodbyes.

"It really was the 11th hour and it was just fate that she saw the last appeal. We're just delighted that this mystery that has baffled police has finally been solved and the man has been reunited with his family."

The body was discovered by a walker on October 13, 2001. A postmortem examination showed he was not suffering from any disease and the only conclusion police could come to was that he died of exposure.

He was finally officially identified from dental records yesterday. Miss Gray was due to visit the spot where her father died today.

Emer McCarry, Northern Constabulary press officer, said Miss Gray had told her her father had vanished from his last address in Crowborough, East Sussex, after quitting his job as an insurance underwriter.

She said: "Obviously she was shocked. It was a mixture of emotions for her to make the pilgrimage to see where he died. She said she never looks at Teletext usually and it was complete coincidence that this time she did and at the same time unravelled a very perplexing mystery."

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