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25 April 2013, 14:27
A man found a human ear while walking his dog in a church graveyard, police said.
The grisly discovery took place yesterday afternoon in the grounds of St Mary the Virgin Church in Aylesbury.
Police cordoned off the church to investigate and have sent the ear to the Home Office pathologist to be analysed.
Results are expected next week and officers will launch an investigation if the body part is found to be "current rather than historic''.
A spokeswoman said: "Thames Valley Police is currently investigating a report received yesterday from a member of the public who believed that they found a body part in the grounds of St Mary's Church, St Mary's Square, Aylesbury.
"Police were called at 6.37pm by a man who was walking his dog and discovered what he believed may be a human ear.
"Investigations are currently ongoing by police and a scene watch was in place this morning, but has now been lifted.''
Father Shane Wood, who has been rector at the church for seven years, said the community had been left stunned by the "strange event''.
He said: "It is a great mystery - we are not used to having Midsomer Murders-style situations around here. We are waiting to see how it evolves and our thoughts will be with those who were involved.''
"He seemed to be in shock - you would be if you found an ear, whether walking your dog or not.''
The rector said the last burial in the graveyard was 100 years ago, adding that if it were from that period it would be "totally unrecognisable''.
"There are questions in the community as to what has happened and people will be looking for answers from the police as their investigation continues.''