What killed U.K. spy found in duffel bag?

(CBS News) LONDON - Some of Britain's top investigators are stumped by a spy mystery that gets stranger by the day. CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports detectives have called in called in computer experts, even a contortionist to solve it.

It took Britain's intelligence services a whole week to make this call to the police after a 31-year-old junior spy didn't show up for work: "I want to report one of our staff who lives and works in London missing."

Police started their search for Gareth Williams at his home. But what they found when they got inside his third floor apartment quickly turned what had been a simple missing persons case into a baffling mystery.

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In the bathroom, a red duffel bag sat in the tub - padlocked. Inside it was Williams tightly folded naked body.

Re-enactment hopes to solve case of dead British spy
Investigators are hoping a re-enactment will help explain how a British intelligence agent wound up dead in a zipped-up duffel bag in his own bathtub.

Detectives found no signs of a struggle in the apartment . And nothing to show whether this was a homicide or a suicide.

Police even asked a yoga expert to prove whether Williams could have locked himself in as a kind of stunt.

Unlikely said the expert.

Gareth Williams was an athlete.

And, as police discovered when they searched his computer, he had a secret interest in bondage.

CCTV image issued by the London Metropolitan Police made available Thursday April 26, 2012, showing Gareth Williams at Holland Park Tube station in London on August 14 2010.
CCTV image shows Gareth Williams at Holland Park Tube station in London on August 14 2010. CCTV

Security cameras showed images of him shopping alone. They are the last known pictures of Williams.

What happened after he got home , and who - if anyone - was there, remains an open question.

Which, unlike the best fictional spy stories, may never be resolved.

  • Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."