08/08/2012 10:01 BST

Burnt Body Found After Chippenham Sainsbury's Car Park Fire

Police are working to identify charred human remains in a Sainsbury's car park - amid rumours that the body might have been a homeless person attacked and set alight by thugs.

The body was found in the debris of the blaze in the supermarket in Chippenham in the early hours of Monday morning, by a police dog handler.

Wiltshire Police said the handler became suspicious after spotting a fire in the car park while on routine patrol.


Police are asking for information relating to the discovery of a body afte a fire in a supermarket car park

Once the fire was put out, a body was discovered in the ashes, between trolley shelters, but the remains were so badly burnt, police could not determine the sex or age of the victim.

The Daily Mail reported that three men were said to have been seen pouring petrol into a jerrycan at a garage shortly before the fire was spotted and said it was believed the victim may have been from a nearby shelter for the homeless.

Police have appealed for help in determining what happened that night, and are seeking to find a young couple who witnesses saw walking through the car park, holding hands.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Power would not confirm whether the circumstances surrounding the death were suspicious.

He added: "We would like to hear from anyone who was in and around the area of the Sainsbury's car park between the hours of 1.30am and 3am.

"The car park is quite active late at night, as people drive through to use the cashpoint or walk through as a short cut.

"In particular, we would like to hear from you if you were driving through the car park or if you were the young couple who were spotted walking through the car park holding hands.

"You may hold information that would assist us in our inquiries, so I would urge you to speak to us."

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said it was too early to say if the death was suspicious.

The supermarket remains closed and police have cordoned off the area.