Sandringham body find: Remains 'are of young woman'

A police forensic scientist works at the scene where human remains were found in Kings Lynn, Norfolk (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Image caption The woman's remains were found on the Queen's Sandringham estate by a dog walker

Human remains found on the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk are of a young woman and had been at the site for up to four months, a post-mortem examination has revealed.

A murder inquiry began after the remains were found by a dog walker in woodland at Anmer, near King's Lynn, on New Year's Day.

The body had been in situ for between a month and up to four months.

It was "highly unlikely" the woman died through natural causes, police added.

A spokesman added there is no evidence of accidental injury, damage due to firearms or bladed weapon.

Samples have been taken which should provide a DNA profile within the next 24 hours.

Inquiries continue and further searches of the area around the site, off Kings Avenue, are due to resume on Wednesday.

Missing persons

Det Ch Insp Jes Fry, of Norfolk Constabulary, said officers were examining cold cases across the UK for potential links.

"We are at the very early stages of the investigation and it could be a complex inquiry," said Mr Fry.

"I cannot confirm whether she was clothed because, at the moment, only my staff, the person who found the body and the person or people who put it there know that - and I would like it to stay that way.

"The circumstances suggest this is a murder case and we are looking at missing persons reports and cold cases, both locally and nationwide."

The body was found in a wooded area on farmland at the 20,000-acre (8,000 hectare) royal estate.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, along with the Earl and Countess of Wessex, have been staying on the Sandringham Estate.

Buckingham Palace earlier would not comment on the discovery, saying it was a "matter for Norfolk police".

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