Unknown ashes found in grave at Reading cemetery

A casket of ashes found "unofficially buried" in an existing grave at a Berkshire cemetery has sparked a police inquiry.

The discovery was made when relatives visited the grave in Henley Road Cemetery in Reading intending to plant bulbs on 6 September.

When they disturbed the ground they found the casket about 2in (5cm) below the surface.

The ashes have been sent for tests to determine if they are human or animal.

'Greatly distressed'

There was no information on the gold-coloured plastic casket, such as an engraved plate, which could have given an idea as to whose remains were contained inside.

Police said there were no records of the casket being officially buried and that it was at a depth far too shallow for it to have been a proper burial.

Det Sgt Steve Jennings, of Reading CID, said: "The family who reported this are greatly distressed to think that someone has disturbed the grave on consecrated ground, which contains the interned remains of their loved ones.

"We are appealing to the person or persons who buried this casket to come forward."

The detective said the remains will be handled sensitively and when tests have been completed they will be returned to the cemetery and most likely scattered in a specific location.

A record will be made of the action to assist those linked to the remains.

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