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Unsolved Mystery man found dead on Sligo beach believed to have written to eight people

Despite exhaustive enquires, the body of the man known as ‘Peter Bergman’ has never been identified


Gardaí are hoping the public can help them identify the body of a man found on a beach at Rosses Point in Co Sligo more than 11 years ago. 

The man, who had arrived in Sligo on a bus from Derry on June 12, 2009, checked into a hotel under a false name, ‘Peter Bergman’.

His body was discovered on the beach four days later and was taken to Sligo University Hospital where a post-mortem was carried out the following day.

It found that there was no foul play and no signs of drowning but that he may have collapsed.

However, despite exhaustive enquires, the body of the man known as ‘Peter Bergman’ has never been identified, despite the fact that he was seen and had been captured on CCTV in and around the Sligo area for a number days before he was found dead.

The case was one of a number which featured on Ireland’s Unidentified Bodies on Virgin Media One on Sunday night.

The then detective inspector in Sligo, who later became a Chief Supt elsewhere before his retirement, John O’Reilly said: “Why, why did he do it? What was the need to die and make sure nobody nowhere could identify you?”

During the course of the probe, officers established that he was disposing of his personal belongings in the days before his death.

Mr O’Reilly said: “There is a chain of events where he is coming and going from the hotel.

“But all of the times when he left, he had a purple, plastic bag with him, possibly half full which appears to be clothing.

“He goes out, he does the rounds of Sligo, he obviously goes out of coverage on occasions, which is to be expected and then when he comes back to the hotel, there is no bag, there is no property. Everything is gone.”

At no point did the CCTV capture him dumping clothes.

The day after his arrival he went to the post office in Sligo and bought eight stamps.

Det Insp Raymond Mulderrig said: “There were no stamps found in his belongings so we believe that he wrote to either one or several people.

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“Eight people out there somewhere, we believe that a man who was in Sligo in the last days of his life wrote to them and they haven’t come forward.”

On June 14, the man got a taxi out to Rosses Point before returning to Sligo town.

The following day he checked out of his hotel and went to the bus station, scrapping one of two black bags he had.

He later went out to the beach where the following day his body was discovered.

Mr O’Reilly said: “It’s highly likely that his plan was to end his life, but the man above or somebody somewhere did it for him.”

A number of items were found on the rocks close to where his body was discovered.

These included: a black leather Finn Comfort shoes, size 44, manufactured in 2002 in Germany; dark socks; a black leather C&A jacket; navy C&A chino trousers; a black sleeveless Tommy Hilfiger jumper; a black leather belt, which reads Key West USA, made in Italy.

Pathologist Clive Kilgallen established that the man was suffering from heart disease and prostate cancer. But, despite the pain he would have been under, there was no traces of medication or pain killers in his system.

Gardai later shared DNA results with Interpol to see if there was any match to the man, but nothing has ever come back.

From June to September of 2009, the man’s body remained in the morgue in Sligo before a decision was made to bury him in the cemetery in the town.

Investigating gardaí have now renewed their appeal to the public for assistance in bringing this case to a conclusion.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sligo Garda Station 071-9157000, The Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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