A geologist has found himself at the centre of a high profile Indian murder mystery after discovering the skull of a woman while bird watching.
Dr Michael Oates, 61, of Wendover, has lived in Mumbai for two years but was not prepared for his shocking macarbe discovery while on a trip with three colleagues.
Speaking from Mumbai Dr Oates said: “It’s not every day you discover a human skull. It’s been a bizarre and strange experience.”
The skull is believed to belong to 50 year old Sandyah Singh, whose sisters are both former Bollywood stars and brothers are famous composers.
Dr Oates has found himself in the spotlight after calling in police.
He added: “A man walked up to me, tapped me on the shoulder, shook my hand, put his hand on my heart and shook his head in appreciation.
“A lot of people come and say ‘well done’ but I just think ‘isn’t it what anyone would do?’
Dr Oates, who still has family living in Wendover, found the skull whilst bird spotting on marshland near Mumbai. Jewellery found nearby identified the victim but the rest of the body has not been found.
“We felt strongly about reporting it,” said Dr Oates. “We thought there’s a family somewhere that are missing a daughter. At least this puts their mind at some rest.
“I’ve been told this is one of the biggest cases that’s come out in Mumbai for years.”
A raft of rumours are surrounding the case in the local media including that there has been foul play by the police or that it could have been a contract killing by family members.
Originally she went missing in December before being discovered on January 27.
Dr Oates said he did not freeze on the spot when discovering the skull, as reported in the Indian press, but instead went straight for his camera to record the find.
He added: “I was a bit bemused by it all I was kind of interested in what’s going on. It’s all been completely surprising and a bit out of this world.”