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Sandringham Murder: More Time Needed To Identify Body

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The body was found on New Year's Day
The body was found on New Year's Day

Police investigating the discovery of a body on the Queen's estate have said identification could take another three days.

Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry said the decomposed state of the body had complicated efforts to compile a DNA profile but expected to have results from teeth, bone and muscle tissue samples back from analysis on Monday.

He added: "Speculation about the identity of the victim is unhelpful, particularly for the families involved.

"We are in touch with a number of families and are particularly focused on missing persons' cases in Norfolk and neighbouring counties. My job is to remain objective and deal in facts to ensure the right outcome."

The remains at Sandringham were spotted by a dog walker shortly after 4pm on New Year's Day in woods on farmland near Anmer, about a mile from the main gate to Sandringham House.

Analysis of bone development and other samples have helped detectives identify the body as that of a white woman aged between 15 and 23.

The force has consulted botanists who say seasonal growth patterns suggest that the absence of ivy growing over the body means it was not put there earlier than August.

Fry said: "We have not been able to establish how the victim died because of decomposition. For example, it is possible she was stabbed but the absence of flesh means we cannot identify that at this stage."

One case the force is looking at is the disappearance of Latvian Alisa Dmitrijeva, 17, from Wisbech, who has not been seen since August but Mr Fry said the force had been in touch with "several other families" to inform them of progress.

Once a DNA profile has been obtained, it will be checked against the national DNA database but if no match is found, forensic experts will take samples from tooth and hairbrushes and other personal items belonging to known missing people.

In the absence of such evidence, the force will take samples from family members.

The site where the body was found is used regularly for pheasant and partridge shoots, often attended by members of the royal household, and officers have spoken to the Sandringham gamekeeper, estate manager and beaters for potential leads.

"Once we know more we will decide if we need to speak to any other members of the household as witnesses," Fry added.

"We are looking to identify any specific events that may have taken place, initially concentrating from the period of the end of August to the end of September.

"We would be interested to hear from anyone who held or was involved in organising any kind of function at Sandringham or neighbouring parishes."

He added that personal artefacts, including jewellery, had been recovered from the area around where the body was found.

The force has issued a further description of the victim, saying she was between 5ft 4ins and 5ft 6ins tall, with high cheek bones.

A specialist from the Natural History Museum will visit the site today to carry out further entomological tests on insects and their lifespan.