A pensioner found dead on Saddleworth Moor in northwest England has been identified after a year of investigation, although many details of his life and death remain shrouded in mystery.
The man was identified last week as David Lytton, a 67-year-old south London resident who spent the last decade of his life in Lahore, Pakistan.
Further inquiry into his past led investigators to Streatham in south London, where Lytton lived from at least 1972 until his departure for Pakistan in 2005.
Peter Dias, who lived next door to Lytton from the 1980s until his departure, expressed shock at the news, describing him as a recluse.
He said: “I just wouldn’t have thought he would have done something like that but I do know David was quite a lonely character. In all the years we lived here with him, we’ve had little interactions, but he was always a pleasant person.”
Dias claimed that his neighbour had opened up slightly after he had invited him to a family wedding in 1994.
He said: “I think David was just glad that we invited him to the wedding and he took the opportunity to come. He was quite social on his table that he was sitting at apparently.”
Dias also revealed that Lytton had worked as a Tube and taxi driver and that his relocation to Pakistan appeared to have been sudden.
Lytton’s body was found on December 12, 2015, near the summit of Indian’s Head in the Peak district. His death was the result of ingesting strychnine, a substance banned in Europe but commonly used as a pesticide in Pakistan.
Interviews revealed that Melvin Robinson, the landlord of the Clarence pub in Greenfield, was likely the last person to have spoken to Lytton, who had entered the pub to ask for directions to the Indian’s Head summit.
Robinson informed him of the route, but suggested he would not be able to return before sunset.
Lytton’s body was found by a cyclist the next morning, on a secluded path. He had several items on him at the time of his death, including three train tickets, an empty bottle of medicine inscribed with Arabic writing and £130 in £10 notes.
His lack of identification led to speculation about his identity and why he had decided to end his life at that location.
Using CCTV footage, investigators were able to track his movements back to Ealing Broadway in west London, where he began his journey by train after arriving in the UK via Heathrow two days prior to his death.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Lytton had a titanium plate fitted onto his left thigh bone, an uncommon operation carried out in just 15 hospitals in Pakistan.
A DNA comparison with a family member confirmed his identity. A full inquest will take place in March.