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Last Updated: Monday, 27 December, 2004, 17:07 GMT
Body thought to be missing woman
Hilary Ball
Hilary Ball was last seen leaving for work on 13 December
Detectives have found a body hanging from a tree believed to be that of a woman who disappeared two weeks ago.

The discovery was made at a beauty spot in Ashdown Forest, known locally as Hindleap, near the village of Horsted Keynes, in West Sussex, on Boxing Day.

Hilary Ball, 52, from Horsted Keynes, was last seen as she made her way to work in Haywards Heath on 13 December.

Sussex Police said on Monday that her next of kin had been informed and a post-mortem examination would be held.

Murder inquiry

Scores of police officers and volunteers have been scouring the forest and surrounding area for Mrs Ball after she failed to arrive for work at an insurance company.

Her blue Toyota Yaris car was discovered on the day she disappeared near Ashdown Cricket Club, close to Ashdown Forest.

Just before Christmas police confirmed the hunt had become a murder inquiry, although no body had been found.

The area in Ashdown Forest where the body was found on Sunday was sealed off while forensic experts examined the scene.

Mrs Ball's husband Geoff was arrested last Tuesday but released without charge.

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