Aivaras Danilevičius: Unsolved Murder (2004 - 2015)


On the 24th of July 2015, workmen clearing ditches discovered remains wrapped in bin bags and a blanket in a ditch in Hawthorn Lane, Warfield, Bracknell.


The skull was found to have two injuries suggesting blunt force trauma. A loose-knitted blue and white striped jumper with a Turkish design label was also recovered from the body. Due to the body's condition, it could not be identified without using DNA. In 2016 the DNA was found to be linked to a Lithuanian woman who had reported Aivaras Danilevičius missing in 2008.


Aivaras Danilevičius (30s - 40s) was a gay man who had moved from Lithuania to the UK in 1996 and had a strong connection to the London Gay scene. It's believed he disappeared in the Summer of 2004, but he was only reported missing in 2008. The police have reported that they believe Aivaras was killed in 2004 but moved to the ditch some years later.


Body Location:


Warfield is a village in Berkshire, with Hawthorn Lane acting as a long byway connecting Nupton and Hawthorn Hill, with fields and trees on either side. A byway is a rural path too small to be considered a road. The area the body was found in can best be described as slightly Rural, with fields and forest paths, however, it's not in the sticks. In fact, it's only a 20-minute car journey to Slough, a high population area, which in turn is only an hour's drive from London. However, the area seems remote enough to be able to deposit a body without being seen, and remote enough that a concealed body would be found quickly. Whilst driving down that path is frowned upon by local residents, it would have been possible and is legal with a 1.6M width traffic regulation order in place.


Theories


Very few details of this case have been made public, leaving many unanswered questions and the inability to construct a provable theory. However, here are my thoughts:


Aivaras was a gay man who spent a lot of time in the 'gay scene' in London. It's possible he had a relationship with someone / went on a date with someone / was kidnapped by someone who had ill intentions. We know that Aivaras died likely due to blunt force trauma - however, this cause of death is less likely in a sexually-motivated attack. Usually, murders that are sexually motivated are done by strangulation/suffocation or stabbing. So whilst it's possible a predator or partner could have killed him, it seems less likely that it was sexually motivated. However, on the other hand, he was found wrapped in a blanket with a sweater also recovered. Does this mean that he had been naked apart from the sweater? If that is the case, then it does seem more likely that sex/assault had been a part of whatever happened to Aivaras. It should also be noted that depending on the level of decomposition the more common sexual attack methods of strangulation may have occurred but cannot be ascertained.


It's interesting that police believe he had been moved to the lane years later after his death. This would suggest that he had been stored / buried / 'discarded' somewhere previously. What motive would someone have to re-move a body? Was it possible that the killer knew of construction work or new houses being built and so he moved the body to stop the discovery? If this is the case it would suggest that the killer was local, or had once been local. Or, perhaps the body had been on the killer's property, and due to a change in circumstance, they needed to get rid of the body. e.g. marriage, selling their property, etc.


Another theory that can't be ignored is that Aivaras could have been 'picked up' by someone who planned to attack him due to his sexuality. Although, there is again no evidence to back this up.


What next?


The police have asked for members of the gay community in London to come forward. However, they have not provided any particular locations Aivaras frequented, or even where he actually lived. This makes witness statements very unlikely, and so I wonder what's being done re. the bedding, bin bags, and knitted jacket. Have they tried to extract DNA, have they studied plant/pollen samples to see if the body had been moved from one rural area to another? Have they ascertained whether the jacket belonged to Aivaras or his killer? Why haven't they released images of the blanket to see if anyone recognizes it - especially if it's patterned?


Unfortunately, there's been no new information released since 2016.