Bones found in motorway bag confirmed as human

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The Independent Online

Bones discovered in a bag at the side of a motorway slip road are human remains, police said today.

A motorway workman was clearing vegetation on the slip road at junction 14 on the M5 North, north of Bristol, yesterday when he made the grisly discovery.

Following examination by a pathologist today, Avon and Somerset Police said the bones were human.

A police spokesman said bone experts would be brought in, and a thorough examination of the scene would be completed before the bones were removed.

But the spokesman said the death was being dealt with as "suspicious".

He said: "They cannot say what is the sex or age of the remains, or how long the bones had been there.

"Crime scene investigators are continuing their work at the scene, while uniformed officers conduct a search of the surrounding area.

"Later today the bones are expected to be removed for further examination by the pathologist."

Forensic teams set up a white tent over the bones shortly after midday yesterday, when they were found at the exit for Thornbury in south Gloucestershire.

A single lane on the slip road has been closed for the last 24 hours while police carry out a search of the area.

An area stretching back into woodland at the side of the slip road remains cordoned off.

Detective Inspector Richard Budd, of Avon and Somerset Police, confirmed a skull and pelvis were recovered.

He said: "It's difficult to say how many bones there are at this stage."

Mr Budd said some of the bones were "partially buried" but the area "had been subjected to animal activity".