Staff and students from the Cold Case Unit work on the Salcombe Man case

The Plymouth Cold Case Unit (PCCU) investigates unsolved missing persons cases. 

Our mission is to uncover new evidence which can be used by the police to solve these cases while giving students experience and skills – including investigative, analytical and social – to launch them into rewarding careers.
We are a student-led, expert-guided group with international connections and access to facilities and training at both the University of Plymouth and Locate International.
Our work gives families of missing people comfort from knowing their loved ones have not been forgotten.
Students and staff of the Cold Case Unit discussing an evidence board on the Salcombe Man
An extract of an evidence board prepared by the Cold Case Unit 
on the Salcombe Man
A student from the Cold Case Unit writing on an evidence board

Become an investigator

For me it's about helping the families of missing people to know that their cases have not been forgotten and to remember that, hopefully, they can get their resolution.

The power of the collective mind 

How do you solve a case where the only evidence is a blurry photograph, a timestamp on a line of text, or a single item of clothing?
To work a cold case, we need to look at problems with fresh eyes and from all angles. 
That is why we value input from a wide range of disciplines – not only subjects directly related to investigation, like criminology, law and policing, but also those that attract the creative and analytically minded, such as English, history and music. We harness our team’s eclectic skills to reveal missed details and yield unexpected insights. 
Students from across the School of Society and Culture can join the PCCU, and we welcome collaboration beyond the School and University.
Students in the Cold Case Unit present evidence from social media on a large screen
Natasha Hughes, 

(Hons) Criminology

Joining the PCCU has taught me how to work effectively online and in groups to deliver a report. It's building my confidence.

BSc (Hons) Criminology student Natasha Hughes joined the Plymouth Cold Case Unit and built invaluable experience for a career. 

Case of focus: Salcombe Man

On 23 September 2021, a man's body was recovered from the English Channel, 46 miles South West of Salcombe, Devon. Among the few clues to his identity are the clothes he was wearing: a wetsuit, gloves, shoes and socks. Until he can be identified, he is being referred to as 'Salcombe Man'. 
Our aim is to gather any information and evidence that may help us to discover who Salcombe Man is and find any family or friends he may have. Locate International has also launched a public appeal for information on the case.
Join us to help solve this cold case.
Wetsuit, gloves and socks used by the unidentified person known as Salcombe Man, a cold case
Crime suite / murder house, forensic criminology and policing facility.Interview room, CCTV monitoring and two way glass.