Burnt body is of woman in her 40s
A badly burnt body discovered among the debris of a fire in a supermarket car park in Wiltshire is that of a woman, police have said. [9 August 2012]
The remains were found by a police dog handler at Sainsbury's in Chippenham.
The body was so badly burnt that officers could not initially identify the age or sex of the victim. Following a post-mortem examination detectives now say the body is that of a woman in her 40s.
It is too early to say whether the incident is suspicious but inquiries continue, including scouring CCTV from the area, Wiltshire Police said.
The discovery was made after the dog handler, on routine patrol, spotted a fire in the car park. After the blaze was put out, police found the body within the debris and launched a major investigation.
Forensic officers were called to the scene in Bath Road to search for evidence, after the supermarket was closed and the car park cordoned off by police. The body was removed from the scene and taken to the mortuary in Flax Bourton, near Bristol, for further forensic examination.
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward if they were in the area or went through the car park in the early hours of August 7.
Detectives investigating the death now think they know who the woman is and are trying to contact her next of kin. Officers have released CCTV images as they appeal for help to find out what happened in the car park in the run-up to the woman's death.
Detective Inspector Matt Davey said: "As you are aware, yesterday morning at approximately 3am police and fire brigade were deployed to the scene of a fire in the Sainsbury's car park on Bath Road, Chippenham. After the fire was extinguished a body was found and we can now confirm that this was the body of a white woman who, at the time of her death, was aged at least 40. We think we know who the woman is and are currently in the process of tracing her next of kin."
Anyone else with information is asked to contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, with whom details can be left anonymously.
Crimestoppers is an independent charity and not part of the police. If you wish to pass on information about crime anonymously, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or fill out our anonymous online Giving Information Form.
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