Page last updated at 18:18 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

Man's severed leg is found in bag

A murder investigation has started after a man's leg, severed from the hip, was found in a sports hold-all on farmland in Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire Police said the area had been cordoned off after the discovery of the left leg on Sunday afternoon.

A police spokeswoman said a local person made the discovery near the A507 at Cottered.

Early tests on the leg suggest the murder was unlikely to have taken place much more than a week ago.

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit started an investigation and forensic officers were at the scene.

The spokeswoman said: "Detectives are looking into every possibility as to why the remains came to be there."

Found in hedgerow

Police said the local resident who found the leg alerted officers after looking into the green Gulliver bag.

Hertfordshire Police are talking to other forces across the country in an attempt to identify the man, who was described as either Caucasian or Asian.

It looked as if it had been deposited in a hurry

Det Chf Insp Michael Hanlon

The bag was left in the field some time between Wednesday and Sunday afternoon, police said.

Det Chf Insp Michael Hanlon, who is leading the murder investigation, said: "The bag was not very well concealed in a hedgerow.

"It looked as if it had been deposited in a hurry.

"We are liaising with other forces and searching the National Missing Person's Database to identify this man.

"We are sifting through missing persons' reports. At the moment we have no direct link.

"More tests are being carried out and we expect to have more information on the victim's ethnicity as well as his age, height and weight. This will obviously help us to identify the man."

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The man's left leg had been severed at the hip



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