A bag of bones has been found in a submerged shopping trolley at a beauty spot in Suffolk.
The grim discovery in the River Stour in Sudbury was made by a wildlife ranger on Thursday afternoon.
The incident is being treated as unexplained but police have confirmed that they believe the remains are human.
Residents were warned not to look out of their window while forensics investigate.
One neighbour who lives opposite the river said: ‘The police are working away busily here, but they won’t tell us anything about what’s going on.
‘They warned us that if we were to look out of our upstairs window we might see a bit of a gruesome sight but they’ve put the tent up now.
‘Forensics were down here working at the scene. It’s all very mysterious.’
The part of the river where the body was found backs onto the courtyard of a care home. Town mayor Jack Owen has urged residents to remain calm after the discovery and said he is awaiting further information from the police.
Locals have expressed shock that such a gruesome find could be made in their ‘average sleepy Suffolk market town’.
Police said it is ‘too early too say’ when the remains were dumped in the river.
‘It is very concerning when something like this is found,’ Assistant Chief Constable Rob Jones told BBC Radio Suffolk.
‘And in the early stages we have to keep a very open mind about what we have, and about the circumstances.
‘As we get the scientific information back, and as witnesses hopefully come forward, we build up a picture of what’s happened, and we’re able to direct our inquiries based on that information.’
One morning walker described the incident as ‘absolutely awful’, adding ‘it’s definitely not the sort of thing you expect to see here’.
A Suffolk police spokeswoman said: ‘Officers would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity close to the river, where the submerged shopping trolley and the bags containing the remains were discovered nearby.
‘Alternatively, anyone who has seen the bags in the river or knows how they came to be in the water or who uses the route regularly is asked to come forward with any relevant information.’
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