Manhunt after human remains found in suitcases left by Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol

Police are hunting for a man who left two suitcases believed to contain human remains by Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol.

Officers were alerted to reports of a man seen acting suspiciously on the bridge just before midnight on Wednesday.

They arrived at the scene within 10 minutes - but the man had vanished, leaving a suitcase behind.

A second suitcase was found nearby a short time later, Avon and Somerset Police said.

Acting Bristol Commander Vicks Hayward-Melen said the "immediate priority" was to find the man and identify the human remains.

She said an immediate search of the area was carried out by officers on the ground with the support of the National Police Air Service and HM Coastguard following the discoveries.

These searches remain ongoing and officers have set up a large police cordon in the area as forensic investigators work at the scene.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge and its visitor centre is closed due to the police activity, its operators said on social media.

A message on the X account of Clifton Suspension Bridge, posted at 7.25am this morning, read: "Due to a police incident, the bridge and visitor centre are CLOSED all day today (11th JULY) to ALL traffic and pedestrians.

"We apologise for the disruption."

Commander Hayward-Melen said: "This is a very disturbing incident and I fully recognise the concern it will be causing our communities.

"The investigation is being led by our major crime investigation team and involves specialist officers and staff from across our organisation.

"Our immediate priority is to locate the man who took the suitcases to the bridge, identify the deceased, and inform their next of kin.

"Specialist officers are ready to provide them with any support they need."

She added: "Specialist crime scene investigators are currently examining the bridge and surrounding area and the bridge will remain closed while these enquiries are conducted.

"A forensic post mortem examination will take place later today.

"There is currently an increased police presence in the area and anyone who has concerns is encouraged to speak to an officer."

Anyone with information has been urged to contact police.

Clifton Suspension Bridge is a Grade I listed landmark designed by Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

It opened in 1864 and spans the Avon Gorge.