'Human foot' in Gateshead field turns out to be potato

image copyrightNorthumbria Police
image captionOfficers said the vegetable medley did look like a human foot

A suspected human foot buried in a muddy field turned out to be a potato after a "large-scale" police search.

A dog walker in Gateshead sent officers a photograph of what appeared to be a toe poking out of the soil.

But after carrying out the search in the dark with specialist dogs, officers discovered it was a potato with a mushroom growing next to it.

Police praised the woman for her "vigilance" and said the call had been made in "good faith".

Northumbria Police said the photograph, sent on Tuesday when the woman had returned home from her walk in the Winlaton area, "did show what appeared to be a human foot".

'Thanks for the treat'

Insp Phil Hamlani said: "The person who called this in was very concerned and in the picture she sent to us the object did look like it could be human remains.

"It was already dark by the time we got a call and so we had to deploy search teams to track down the scene to rule out any foul play.

"The search team did have a chuckle when they realised it was a potato, but the call was made in good faith and we can only praise the vigilance of the woman who made the call."

He urged anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to call police, adding: "If it does turn out to be a vegetable, our police dogs will thank you for the treat."

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