Jersey Care Home Abuse Police Believe Children’s Bodies Were Burned
Children at a Jersey care home were sexually assaulted, murdered and their bodies burned, a report summarising evidence of the abuse is expected to say.
Detectives searching Haut de la Garenne are said to now have “compelling evidence” that children’s remains were thrown into a furnace to ensure the abuse did not come to light.
It is claimed that the charred remains of the victims were then swept into the soil floors of four cellars under the house, where they lay undiscovered for decades.
Forensic scientists searching the cellars, where victims have told them they were taken to be abused, have already uncovered 65 milk teeth and up to 100 pieces of bone that they say appear to have been burned. The bones include a piece of child’s tibia and several fragments identified as the bones of a child aged under 11.
An intact adenoid bone, from the ear of a child, has also been found, it has been reported.
Police are also examining strands of nylon recovered from the cellars, which they believe came from the head of a broom only used in the 1960s and 70s.
If confirmed, this would add weight to the theory that the burned human remains were concealed in the cellars at around the same time.
In the same “torture chambers”, police also found a stone bath, blood specks, a pair of shackles and chilling graffiti reading “IV BEEN BAD 4 YEARS & YEARS”. Deputy Chief Officer Lenny Harper said the bones gave further weight to the theory that murder was committed at the home, and that since bones were found in ash near an old fireplace, the bodies were probably burned.
“There is no doubt that a child or children lie buried in that cellar,” he added.
This week, a police source went further, saying: “There’s no doubt in the minds of the detectives on this case that children were murdered in the home.
“Officers believe they have compelling evidence that bodies were burnt in the home’s furnace then the remains swept into the soil floor in the cellars.”
But the source added that it had been a struggle to identify which children had gone missing from the home as there were no records kept of who came and went. “Kids were shipped to the home from all over the UK and were never heard of again,” he said.
“All the inquiry team have to go on is this grim collection of teeth and bone fragments and no names to match up to the remains.”
It is understood that a file containing all of the evidence gathered so far by the investigation – one of the biggest in the UK’s history – has been compiled as retiring DCO Harper prepares to hand over the case to his successor, David Warcup, the current Deputy Chief Constable of Northumbria.
A list of 40 suspects – including 18 priority suspects – believed to be involved in the abuse of up to 100 victims over 40 years on Jersey has been drawn up and three men including a former warden of the home have been charged with sex offences.
Although the search of the massive site of Haut de la Garenne which began in February has now been all but completed, police are continuing to trawl a nearby Second World War bunker for evidence after six witnesses came forward to say they were abused there as well.