Police launched an investigation today after the skeletal remains of a woman’s body were found at an old factory site.
The fully clothed bones – which could have lain undiscovered for up to EIGHT years – were found after workers cleared undergrowth at former factory works in Bristol.
Police carried out a forensic search of the wasteland and sent crime scene investigators, a forensic archaeologist, forensic anthropologist and a botanist to the scene yesterday.
Det Ch Insp Simon Crisp, from Avon and Somerset Police, said no obvious attempt had been made to bury the body but the force had not yet ruled out a murder enquiry.
He said yesterday: ”We believe she was fully clothed and there were no indications that any attempts had been made to bury or conceal her other than the fact that the site itself has become overgrown during the past few years.
”A post mortem examination has taken place but at this time the identity of the woman remains a mystery, and there is no obvious indication of her cause of death.
”Therefore I have to keep a completely open mind about whether or not this could develop into a murder investigation.
”At present it is being treated as an unexplained death.
”We are awaiting the results of further forensic tests, including looking at the possibility of any DNA evidence which may help us discover who she is.
”What we do know is that she is most likely to have been a white woman, although we cannot rule out at this stage the possibility she may have been of mixed heritage.
”She was around 5ft 3 or 5ft 4ins tall, of medium build and probably aged between 30 and 45.
”The forensic examinations so far indicate that the remains could have been on site for up to eight years.
”We have found some clothing, including a fleece jacket and some training shoes, which I would ask people to look at and see if this prompts any thoughts about who this woman might be.”
The skeleton was found at the former Sevalco Limited factory, in Avonmouth, Bristol, where chemical company used to make carbon black, a colouring used in tyres.
The site – disused since 2007 – is now owned by waste management firm Viridor and is the subject of a planning application for a recycling centre.
Last year, Viridor had an application to build a £200 million plant rejected by Bristol City Council’s planning committee.