A family have recalled the moment the police knocked on their house to tell them a body of woman had been found in the cellar of a house they owned.

Patrick Aherne, now 54, was at home in Bolton when police came knocking on the door looking for his dad, William Aherne, because they had found the remains of a woman in 27 Bromwich Street, a house he owned in 1982.

Named Mary Ellen' by police at the time, the body was found in a News of the World newspaper dated March 1966.

The case shocked the entire country, and police searched for answers after a John Baxendale,  found the unidentified remains in a cellar of the house.

The Bolton News: William Aherne

Patrick said: “My dad owned the house.

“My dad used the cellar to store paints and storage for renovations.

“I remember the police came to see him at our home and my dad went to the police station and gave a statement about how long he had the house."

The Bolton News: William Aherne

Patrick said: “We were shocked, and I was only young so when I used to go to collect rent with my dad on Fridays, I felt a little ill at ease going into this house as I knew there had been a body found in the cellar, so it was all a bit spooky.

“My dad carried out renovating the house when he could, and he did sell it eventually.”

Patrick has been looking into the case himself and hopes that the identity of ‘Mary-Ellen’ will one day be found, especially as the BBC have now launched a podcast series The Forgotten Dead, where they discuss the case.

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He said: “I was assuming some DNA extraction would have been done to find her identity, and she must have some family somewhere.

“The concerning thing is she has gone missing, and nobody has reported her like was she alone or from abroad?

“It would be nice to put a name on her headstone because at the end of the day, she was still a human being.”

At an inquest in Bolton in April 1983, coroner David Blakey was told the cause of her death could not be determined and an open verdict was concluded.