01/03/2012

Murdered woman found on Queen's estate

Police
A police forensic scientist photographs evidence at the scene in woods on the Queen's Sandringham Estate where human remains were found on New Year's Day. (Getty Images)

A murder mystery is unravelling not far from the front door of Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham House.

The body of a woman was discovered about 4 p.m. on New Year's Day by a person walking a dog in a wooded area on the estate grounds about two kilometres from the royal residence. Police said the body had been there between one and four months and the case was being treated as a murder investigaion.

Fry"The body had been there for some time," said Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry (left). "The circumstances suggest this is a murder case and we are looking at missing persons reports and cold cases both locally and nationwide."

Police wouldn't comment on a possible connection between the body and the disappearance of a 17-year-old Latvian student  -- Alisa Dmitrijeva of Wisbech -- who was last seen in the King's Lynn area on Aug. 31.

The discovery was kept quiet for more than a day as police sealed off the area and started combing through files of missing persons. The Queen and Prince Philip, who stay at Sandringham from Christmas to February, were told of the body on Monday. Prince Edward and his wife Sophie are also currently in residence.

A post-mortem was conducted on Tuesday afternoon.

The Sandringham estate, which covers nearly 8,000 hectares, has about 590 acres of woods and countryside sections open to the public. The body was found in a forest at Anmer not far from the main entrance to the Queen's private residence.

The Queen was photographed on Tuesday exercising her horse at Sandringham. Prince Philip is still recuperating from emergency heart surgery on Dec. 23 to insert a stent into a blocked coronary artery.

This is the second recent incident of a body being found near a royal residence. Last March, the body of a  man who had an obsession with Queen was discovered on the tiny island in St. James Park just outside Buckingham Palace. An autopsy revealed he had been dead about three years, but no cause of death could be determined.

Guard
Police guard the entrance to woods where human remains were found on New Year's Day. Police have launched an investigation after the remains were found by a dog walker in the area adjacent to the Queen's Sandringham Estate. (Getty Images)

 

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