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Missing-Grandad Theory Ruled Out In Saddleworth Moor Death Mystery

The family of a man who went missing in Northern Ireland in 1994 have said he is not the man who was mysteriously found dead at a beauty spot in December.

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Attempts by police to identify a man who was found dead on a Peak District hillside have suffered a setback after it emerged he's not the same man who went missing in Northern Ireland 20 years ago.

Dove Stone reservoir, next to the peak where a man was found dead in December.
Andrew McCaren / Ross Parry

Dove Stone reservoir, next to the peak where a man was found dead in December.

Detectives trying to solve the strange case – in which a man was found dead on Indian's Head, a peak next to the Dove Stone reservoir, near Oldham, on 12 December – were looking into whether whether the man was Hugh Toner, who went missing in County Armagh in 1994.

But DNA samples from Toner's son, Sean, showed that there is no relation.

He told The Guardian: "I have been informed today by the police the DNA sample I have supplied is not a match with the body of the gentleman found on the moor.

"Although this is a setback for my family and I, we will continue to search for answers in the hope that someday we will have closure."

Another theory, that the man was returning to the site of a plane crash he survived in 1949, was also disproved.

The unnamed man, aged between 65 and 75, was last seen alive on 11 December at a pub near the reservoir, where he asked for directions to the summit of Indian's Head. CCTV pictures released by police showed him travelling from London to Manchester that morning before travelling to the area by taxi.

A first postmortem was inconclusive but police said there was no sign of injury.

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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