THE skeletal remains of a middle-aged man found at Parley Common 12 years ago remain unidentified despite thorough investigations, an inquest heard.

Dorset coroner Rachael Griffin praised police and other agencies who have tried to identify the man but said it has been impossible to do so.

The remains were discovered after a heathland fire off Tamar Close 12 years ago and the body is believed to have been at the site for between one and five years prior to the fire.

The remains were found underneath a mattress but Mrs Griffin said it is not known whether the man was using the mattress as a cover or whether it had been dumped at the site by flytippers after his death.

At a hearing in Bournemouth, she said: "There is every possibility that the man took himself to that location and died there although it can't be ruled out that his body was placed there after his death.

"Very sadly the circumstances surrounding this male's death cannot be ascertained. I have no other option than to record an open conclusion."

She said a partial DNA profile has been obtained from the man's remains but it is not detailed enough to be compared against a database.

Inquiries to see if he was either of two missing person were carried out and both have been ruled out due to the DNA evidence.

When the discovery was made on August 15 2006, a team of experts, including forensic archaeologists, worked around the clock for several days to recover the remains. which had been hidden by dense overgrowth.

Detectives discovered the man had lost his teeth before his death and that he was probably right-handed. His skeleton showed no signs of injury.

A post-mortem examination carried out on August 24, 2006 could not ascertain the cause of his death.