Murder suspected after woman's body found on Queen's estate

  • @tompeck

Police have launched a murder inquiry after a young woman's body was discovered in woodland just a mile from the entrance to Sandringham House in Norfolk, where the Queen and Prince Philip are staying.

A post-mortem examination last night revealed the remains had been at the site for up to four months. Detectives are examining cold-case files nationally in an effort to identify the woman.

Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry, of Norfolk Constabulary, would not comment on the victim's age or whether her body was clothed. "We are looking at missing persons reports nationwide as well as cases we have been working on more locally for potential links," he said.

Det Ch Insp Fry did not rule out the possibility that the body was that of Alisa Dmitrijeva, pictured, a teenager who was last seen in King's Lynn in August. "We will be looking at all missing persons and she will be in the list," he said.

The body was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn where an autopsy was performed yesterday. The remains were discovered by someone who was walking a dog shortly after 4pm on New Year's Day, about two miles west of the village of Anmer on the Sandringham Estate.

"The body has been in situ for some time but I can't comment on whether that is weeks, months or years," Det Ch Insp Fry said.

"I cannot comment on her age. I cannot confirm whether she was clothed because, at the moment, only my staff, the person who found the body and the person or people who put it there know that, and I would like it to stay that way."

Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, are also staying at Sandringham. The Queen was photographed out horse riding on Monday, the day after the body was found. Buckingham Palace had no comment.