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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 August, 2003, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Murder hunt after body found
Crime scene
Police believe the body was dumped from a car
A murder inquiry has begun after the body of a woman was found on a busy road south east of London.

Scotland Yard said the body was discovered by a passer-by on the grass verge of the A20 near Chislehurst at about 1125 BST on Saturday.

The road was closed for several hours on Saturday while the area was examined for clues.

The woman is described as about 40 years old, 5ft tall, of medium build with short dark hair and of "Oriental" appearance.

Her body was covered by an unzipped white and blue sleeping bag.

We suspect that a vehicle would have been involved in depositing the body as it was so close to the road
Det Supt Richard Heselden, Metropolitan Police
A post mortem examination established she died of suffocation.

Detective Superintendant Richard Heselden said he believed the body had been driven to the scene and dumped there.

"The body was on the grass verge next to a lay-by on the London-bound carriageway, near the Queen Mary's Hospital turn off", he said.

"We believe she was deposited there sometime between Friday evening and Saturday morning. It appears there was little attempt to conceal the body which would suggest it was done in a hurry.

"We suspect that a vehicle would have been involved in depositing the body as it was so close to the road."

Police are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area in the last 24 hours or anyone with any information to contact the incident room on 020 8217 6530.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC London's Leyla Hayes
"The woman's body was found in a layby on the A20 just outside Sidcup."



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