Murder probe launched after ‘human remains’ found in pond close to NHS hospital

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Police were called to the pond after reports of a ‘suspicious object in the water’ on New Year’s Eve before launching a murder investigation.

Detectives have launched a murder investigation after human remains were found in a pond close to an NHS hospital. Oakwood Pond in Harlow, Essex was being drained on Tuesday (January 3) as specialist officers searched the area.

Police were first called there after reports of a “suspicious object in the water” on New Year’s Eve (Saturday, December 31). But a dog walker is believed to have spotted something in the water two days earlier.

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The lake is set in parkland close to the Princess Alexandra hospital. The site serves a population of around 280,000 people living in Harlow and the surrounding community.

The investigation is still at a very early stage, but the Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate is calling those with information to come forward. Detective Chief Inspector Antony Alcock said: "It’s the really early stages of this investigation and we are working to determine what has happened.”

It is understood that a police cordon remains at the scene. Det Insp Alcock had this message of reassurance from the public.

Oakwood Pond in Harlow.  Oakwood Pond in Harlow.
Oakwood Pond in Harlow. | Essex Police / SWNS

"I understand that this is concerning news for local residents and our officers are likely to remain in the area for the next few days to continue enquiries,” she said. “We ask that the public respect the cordons in place and we will be updating the public as the investigation develops."

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