Murder inquiry after woman's body found in field

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The Independent Online
Police were yesterday trying to identify a young woman whose body was found dumped in a field just yards from a busy road. The partly- clothed body was spotted lying in the undergrowth by a lorry driver who pulled into a lay-by on the A30 in Hampshire.

A murder hunt was launched after it was realised that the woman, aged about 20 years, had been killed and left near the lay-by between Basingstoke and Hook, a few hundred yards from a junction withthe M3 motorway.

Detectives said that the victim, who was believed to have come from the Basingstoke area, had only been dead for a few hours when she was found at breakfast-time. They said that her missing clothing was found in a search of the area.

The woman's body was taken to the mortuary at the North Hampshire Hospital, where a post-mortem examination was due to be carried out. Detective Superintendent Joe Edwards, leading the murder hunt, said that no one had been arrested in connection with the killing and appealed for information from anyone who had seen or heard anything suspicious in the area.

He did not reveal how the woman had died but said: "Our principal line of inquiry at present is to confirm the identity of the deceased. We have a strong line of inquiry going on in the Basingstoke area."

At least 30 police officers were involved in the search of the area yesterday, and a section of the A30 and the nearby Crabtree Plantation activity centre were closed off. A member of the public had reported seeing a car in the area which detectives believe may have been linked to the killing.