Missing persons charity Locate International has worked tirelessly to find the identity of a man killed in a road accident in Walthamstow, London, in 2015, but despite photos and a likely name – they’re no closer to finding him
Authorities are seeking answers in a case “unlike any in history” which has left detectives baffled for nearly a decade.
It’s been nine years since an unidentified man was hit and killed in a tragic road accident in Walthamstow, London. The mystery man wasn’t carrying any form of ID on him when he was found, and despite photos existing of him – his true identity has never been confirmed.
It’s believed his name could be Brian Wallace, yet no family member has ever come forward. With Monday marking nine years since the man was knocked down, a charity helping families in cold case disappearances has issued a fresh plea for someone to come forward to shed new light.
The man was hit at 10.20pm on January 22, 2015, whilst walking near Walthamstow’s The Bell pub. In the nine years since, volunteers for Locate International have tried “tirelessly” over the past six months to trace more than 400 potential Brian Wallaces, as well as people with similar names – but to no success.
The charity has his photo and knows his suspected name, what he’s thought to have done for a living and even where his family is thought to be from, but are still drawing a blank. Dave Grimstead, the charity’s founder and CEO, admitted they’ve made “no progress” despite “extraordinary efforts” to trace his identity.
“The reality remains; we have no news, no progress, and no resolution,” he said. “What sets this case apart is not just the tragic circumstances surrounding his death, but the extraordinary efforts of our volunteers.”
According to neighbours who knew the man as Brian Wallace, he had been working as a builder at the time and claimed to have family – and possibly children – in Sheffield and a possible sister in Neasden, London. Locate International believes he also sometimes drank at the William the Fourth pub in Leyton, and that he may have had a houseboat moored on the River Lea.
The charity said: “Six months ago, we allocated a dedicated team of investigators to re-look at this case. Since his death, his next of kin have remained untraced, but volunteers believe there is hope yet as they have discovered the man likely had children.”
Dave added: “The fact that we possess photographs of the man and potential first and second names makes this investigation unlike any other in our history, but we now need to look beyond these names. As we mark nine years since his death, we want to reiterate that he has not been forgotten, but we do need to look more broadly.”
The charity now wants to speak to anyone who may have met ‘Brian’, as well as those living in the North to come forward with details of any men they know born between 1945 and 1955 who have become estranged or unaccounted for over the years, or indeed anyone matching this man’s description.
These men would now be in their 60s or 70s, the charity advises. Anyone with any information at all – no matter how small it’s thought to be – is urged to come forward. Dave added: “He deserves to be remembered and properly laid to rest, and we will not stop searching until we achieve that.”
The public is asked to reflect on family histories, neighbours, relatives, friends, ex-colleagues and contacts. If there’s even the slightest chance that someone may be linked to this case, even if just to rule them out, Locate International invites the public to come forward. Information can be given by calling 0300 102 1011 or emailing [email protected]. Calls can be taken anonymously.