Mystery surrounds the death of a Falmouth cyclist whose body was found at old mine works nine miles from home – with no bicycle to be found.

The hunt is now on for the missing equipment, which could provide vital clues into how 72-year-old David Alderson came to be at Wheal Maid near Carharrack.

He was found by a dog walker at around 9am on Saturday.

Police have refused to be drawn into giving details of his injuries, other than that they were “consistent with a fall”, or revealing where his body was found – although one unconfirmed suggestion on social networking sites is that he was found in one of the pools at the mine works, which are known to be particularly toxic due to prevalence due to the heavy metals in the water.

Following a police appeal his car was found in his home town of Falmouth, making the absence of the bicycle even more mysterious.

Officers are now working on the theory that it may have been taken “for safe keeping” and are appealing for its return.

DC Julian Lewis, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said yesterday (Tuesday): “We have recovered the gentleman’s vehicle overnight in Falmouth, so all we have outstanding is his bike, which we believe may have drop handlebars.”

Mr Alderson’s next of kin, who are not believed to be local to the area, have been advised of the death, although police are yet to speak to them more fully.

A police spokesman said: “Enquiries suggest that the male has had a serious accident within the works and subsequently died at the scene. Mr Alderson was known as a keen cyclist.

“Whilst a cycling accident is suspected, a bicycle has not yet been located in the proximity of Mr Alderson. It is likely the bike would have looked as though it had been |abandoned. anyone recovering it is urged to contact the police.”

When Mr Alderson was found he was wearing a blue fleece, dark coloured running bottoms, black specialist cycling shoes and a pair of brown |gardening gloves, with a pair of |spectacles and a black baseball cap found nearby. He had a grey beard.

The area is popular with mountain bikers and officers are asking anyone who may have seen Mr Alderson in the area, or who know where his bike is, to get in contact.
Anyone with information is urged to call 101 and quote log number 182 of January 18, 2014.