Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008

'Mummified' head found on pathway

A human head found in a bag in Edinburgh is that of an adult who may have died between five and 10 years ago, according to police.

The remains, which appeared to be mummified, were discovered by a woman walking along a footpath at Hawthornvale, Leith, at about 1030 GMT.

Police believe the bag may have been left within the past week or so.

Officers have been carrying out forensic examinations at the scene and the area was cordoned off.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: "Obviously we are at the very early stages of this investigation and at the moment we are trying to establish the identity of the deceased.

"At this stage cause of death is unknown and we will continue our enquiries in order to establish how the remains have came to be on the footpath."

Det Supt Alan Jones told BBC Scotland he wanted to hear from anyone who had seen the bag, which he said was blue and located about 250 yards from Lindsay Road.

He said: "Clearly it's been prominent enough for one individual to go and have a look at it, but we're interested to know if anyone else has seen it in the recent past."

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