Woman found murdered at Queen’s estate,probe on

The police are treating the case as a murder,and an autopsy was being conducted Tuesday to learn more about the cause of death and the identity of the victim.

Written by Associated Press | London | Published:January 4, 2012 12:33 am

It’s case that Sherlock Holmes would have loved to unravel: British police say a woman’s body has been found at the vast rural estate in Norfolk where Queen Elizabeth II and her family celebrated New Year’s.

The police are treating the case as a murder,and an autopsy was being conducted Tuesday to learn more about the cause of death and the identity of the victim.

The body was found on New Year’s Day 5 km from the elegant country home of Sandringham where the royals held a New Year’s Day celebration.

Parts of the nearly 20,000-acre estate are open to the public,and the body was found in a forest at Anmer,a hamlet on the estate. Forensics investigators were seen walking through nearby woodlands Tuesday,examining the ground in an area cordoned off by the police.

So far,there are more questions than answers about the strange discovery. Buckingham Palace officials are keeping mum about the murder case. It is not yet clear how old the victim was,how long her body had been in the woods,if she was murdered on the grounds or if her remains were put there after the slaying.

“We are at the very early stages of the investigation and it could be a complex inquiry,’’ Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry said Tuesday. “The body had been there for some time.’’ Fry said authorities were examining missing person reports and unsolved cases around the country to see if there were any possible links.

“I cannot confirm whether she was clothed,’’ he said. “The body was found by a dog walker.’’

Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip remain in residence at Sandringham House,along with one of her sons,Prince Edward,and his wife Sophie. The estate has two stud farms and a fruit farm and employs more than 100 full-time staff.

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