01/04/2012

Murder victim found on Queen's estate remains a mystery

The focus of the murder mystery on Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham estate has fallen on two young East European women who disappeared in August.

However, police said Wednesday that the victim can't yet be identified because further post-mortem testing failed to provide a DNA profile.

The body of a woman was found in woods near the royal residence in Norfolk on New Year's Day. Testing has determined the murder victim was between 15 and 23 years old and had been dead for up to four months.

Alisa-dmitrijeva-29707"Officers will also look at more traditional methods of identifying the victim, which may take longer," Norfolk police said in a release Wednesday.

Two women vanished from the area in separate cases in August.

Latvian-born Alisa Dmitrijeva, 17, (right) was last seen on Aug. 31 in nearby King's Lynn. There have been a number of unconfirmed sightings and police have offered an $8,000 reward for information on her whereabouts.

Another woman, 29-year-old Vitalija Baliutaviciene (below right), has not been seen since leaving her home Aug. 12 in Peterborough, about 90 kilometres from Norfolk. Rimas Venclovas, 46, was extradited from Lithuania, has been charged with kidnapping and murder, but no body has been found.

Vitalija Latest_1"We will be focusing on all local missing persons and then spread our catchment area depending on how our investigation goes," said Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry.

Police ruled out a gun or knife attack and said it was not clear if the victim had been killed at the scene of transported there after her death.

The remains at Sandringham were spotted by a dog walker in woods on farmland about a kilometre from the main entrance to Sandringham House, where the Royal Family had celebrated Christmas. The Queen and Prince Philip remain in residence there through January. They have been briefed by police on the investigation.

It's not the first time bodies have been found near royal residences. In 2010, the body of a 46-year-old woman was found on the crown estate near Windsor Castle and her estranged husband was convicted of manslaughter.

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.

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Police guard the entrance to woods on Kings Ave. where human remains were found on New Year's Day. The area is on the Sandringham estate, where the Queen is in residence. (Getty Images)

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