Torso is latest find in body parts mystery

Detectives investigating the murder of a man whose limbs and head have been found dumped in four locations yesterday found another body part.

Part of a torso was discovered by a pedestrian in a remote country lane near Standon, Hertfordshire, on Saturday evening, three miles from the lay-by on the A10 where a motorist found a severed right leg last Tuesday.

Detectives believe they will link the latest decomposing find to the right leg, left leg, left arm and severed head found separately within the past three weeks and confirmed to be from the same person. "There is a likelihood that it will be linked to the murder investigation," a spokeswoman said.

The case began on Sunday 22 March when a left leg was found in a green holdall in the village of Cottered, Hertfordshire. A week later a left forearm, with its hand missing, was found on a grass verge 23 miles away in Wheathampstead.

On Tuesday 31 March the head, which was missing two front teeth, was found in a field in Asfordby, Leicestershire, nearly 90 miles north of the previous discoveries. On Tuesday 7 April a right leg was discovered near a lay-by on the A10 Puckeridge bypass, in Hertfordshire. Police later confirmed that all four body parts belonged to the same victim, a man, white or Asian, between 5ft 6in and 5ft 10in, who suffered from the skin complaint eczema. Discoloration in his skin pigmentation around the ankle also gave a "bleaching" effect.

There is no match on the national DNA database. More than 100 officers are working through logs of every person reported missing in the areas in which the body parts were found and will widen their search as the investigation continues. Should no match be found in Britain, detectives will cast their net overseas.

A post-mortem examination was being carried out on the latest discovery yesterday afternoon.

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