Police have dismissed speculation that a serial killer is on the loose in Bristol following a recent spate of deaths of young men whose bodies were all found in water.
On Friday afternoon, a body thought to be that of missing Abdulkadir Mahamoud from Easton was recovered from the River Avon near Hotwell Road.
His death was the third fatality in Bristol’s waterways in the last six weeks, sparking fears that quickly spread across social media that a ‘Bristol pusher’ is at large sending young men to their deaths.
Similarities have been made with the ‘Manchester pusher’. Channel 4 made a documentary on the subject after the bodies of more than 80 people, mostly young men, have been recovered from Greater Manchester’s canals in six years.
National newspapers are also speculating on the Bristol deaths:
- The Sun: Is ANOTHER serial killer at work pushing young men into Bristol waterways in chilling echoes of the ‘Manchester Pusher’
- The Mirror: Fears that serial killer is drowning young men in Bristol – in eerie similarity to ‘Manchester Pusher’ claims
- The Daily Mail: Is there a serial killer in Bristol? Fears grow that a shadowy figure is drowning young men in a chilling echo of the ‘Manchester Pusher’ claims
- Metro: Deaths of three men in Bristol sparks serial killer fears
But police have rejected claims there is anything sinister about the deaths and said they “appear to have been tragic accidents”.
Abdulkadir, 29, from Easton, was reported missing on February 24. His disappearance was said to be “completely out of character”.
The body of Lewis Ball was found in the Floating Harbour on February 27 following a two-week manhunt. The 26-year-old was last seen leaving the Thekla in the early hours on Sunday, February 5.
Deakon Wilkins, 24, disappeared after leaving Motion nightclub in St Phillip’s in the early hours of Saturday, January 14. His body was recovered from the Floating Harbour near Temple Meads on Sunday, February 5.
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police said: “There is nothing to suggest that any of the deaths are linked or suspicious. They appear to have been tragic accidents.
“We are always willing to receive new information and intelligence, which is not based on speculation.
“We are continuing to work with the coroner on the incidents which are being treated as non-suspicious sudden deaths.”