The family of Derek Serpell-Morris, the Bristol-based man known as DJ Derek, have said they are ‘expecting the worst’ after human remains were found in the Cribbs Causeway area of the region on Thursday night.
Serpell-Morris, 73, has been missing since July 2015, and a prominent campaign by his family and Bristol’s music community has been looking to find him over the past eight months.
Serpell-Morris’s great-niece Jennifer Griffiths told The Bristol Post: “As soon as I heard the news last night I was convinced it was him. I have spoken to the rest of the family and we all feel the same way.
“In a way it would be closure for us if this was Derek but at the same time it would be awful, it would be the worst case scenario.
“He used to get the bus to Cribbs Causeway all the time and we always felt that he could have ended up around that area.
“It just feels that we wasted all that time looking in the wrong places when he was there all the time.”
Last week it was reported that Serpell-Morris’s family had begun the process of declaring him legally dead, as payments were still being made on his empty flat, and he was still receiving pension contributions.
Serpell-Morris received the Bristol Lord Mayor’s medal for an “outstanding” contribution to music in the city, and was considered the UK’s oldest DJ until his retirement, following a New Year’s Eve set in London’s Notting Hill Arts Club in 2013.
A champion of soul, reggae, ska and dancehall music, Serpell-Morris was a prominent figure in Bristol’s music scene, befriending acts such as Massive Attack. Daddy G, the trip-hop band’s founding member, called Serpell-Morris a “walking musical encyclopedia” and played a club night in Bristol to raise funds for a search.
The police have confirmed that the remains are badly decomposed and could have been in the woodland near the Cribbs Causeway for a considerable period of time. Serpell-Morris last used his bus pass on the day he disappeared, on a route that went passed the area the body was found.
Although they won’t be able to confirm more details until after the post-mortem examination and identification procedures, police told the BBC they “strongly believe” the remains are Serpell-Morris’s, “due to personal items found at the scene”.
Detective Chief Inspector Matthew Iddon said: “This is a very distressing time for Derek’s family who’ve been carrying out an exhaustive campaign to locate him and raise awareness of his disappearance and our thoughts are very much with them.”
Culled From Telegraph
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