Police have not yet found any human remains in the search for the final victim of the Manchester Moors murders.
On Friday, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) revealed it had been contacted on regarding the find by an author researching the murder of 12-year-old Keith Bennett.
Keith was one of five children tortured and murdered by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
The schoolboy’s body was never found following his disappearance in 1964, and 48 years later his mother, Winnie Johnson, died aged 78 without fulfilling her wish to give him a proper Christian burial.
Following a meeting on Friday, officers were directed to a site, believed to be on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester, where the force revealed “specialist officers have begun initial exploration activity.”
But in a statement on Saturday, GMP said photographs of the site which showed what had been interpreted as a human jaw bone had not led to physical evidence being examined.
Senior investigating officer Cheryl Hughes said: “Following information received which indicated that potential human remains had been found on the Moors, specialist officers have today resumed excavation of a site identified to us.
“This information included photographs of the site and show what experts working with the informant have interpreted as a human jaw bone. No physical evidence of a jaw bone or skull has been examined.
“However, based on the photographs and information provided, and in line with GMP’s usual practice to follow-up any suggestion of human burial, we began our search of the site of interest.
“We have not found any identifiable human remains but our work to excavate the site is continuing.
“Conditions are difficult and it may take us some time to fully complete the excavation but we are committed to ensuring this is undertaken in the most thorough way possible.”
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley’s other victims were Pauline Reade, 16, who disappeared on her way to a disco on July 12 1963; John Kilbride, 12, who was snatched in November the same year; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, who was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, who was axed to death in October 1965.
The killers were caught after the Evans murder and Lesley and John’s bodies were recovered from the moors.
Both Brady and Hindley were taken back to Saddleworth Moor to help police find the remains of the outstanding victims, but only Pauline’s body was recovered.
Brady claimed he could not remember where he had buried Keith.
In 2009, police said a covert search operation on the moor, which used a wealth of scientific experts, had also failed to discover any trace of the boy.
Hindley died in jail in 2002 at the age of 60 and Brady died in a high-security hospital in 2017 aged 79.