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Wednesday, 1 March, 2000, 17:46 GMT
Police find remains at MP's house
Colvin's family home
Fire ripped through the Colvin's family home
Police searching the ruins of the burnt-out home of MP Michael Colvin believe they have found his body along with that of his wife Nichola.

Det Supt Mike Lane said they had found human remains which, with other evidence found at the house, suggest they are "likely to have found the remains of Mr and Mrs Colvin".

"While we are not able to confirm that it is them for sure, I'm becoming more satisfied that it is them," Det Supt Lane said.

Michael Colvin
Conservative MP Michael Colvin
Police confirmed the remains, which are those of two separate humans, were found on the ground floor of the house directly beneath the Colvins' bedroom.

The bodies will remain inside the wrecked Edwardian building overnight and will be taken away for forensic examination on Thursday.

It is thought DNA tests will have to be used to formally identify the bodies.

Sifting through debris

"The remains were uncovered amongst a pile of ashes up to three feet high," Det Supt Lane said.

"As the day has progressed we have found more and more remains, piece by piece.

"We have had to sift through a pile of debris which are the contents of three floors that have collapsed to the ground floor," he said.

"We have told the family of our discovery and they are coping fairly well," Det Sup Lane said.

"They are coming to terms with it as best they can."

Fire swept through the couple's 5m, 10-bedroom mansion, Tangley House, near Andover in Hampshire on Thursday.

Firemen have spent the last week removing rubble from the building so they could carry out examination of the debris.

The search has been centred in the west wing of the property where the Colvins were known to have been sleeping.

Hampshire Police say they have not yet established the cause of the fire, and that the search is continuing, although they say nothing has been found to lead them to believe the cause of the fire was suspicious.

Backbench MP Michael Colvin, was educated at Eton and Sandhurst and became the Conservative member for Romsey, a new seat, in 1997. He held it with a healthy majority of 8,585 over the Liberal Democrats.

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