Bones Found By A23

Bones found by contractors at the side of a dual carriageway are believed to be human.

Police investigating the discovery of human bones alongside the A23 at Slaugham now believe that they are of ancient origin.

Detective Inspector Tracy Edwards said: "Following an extensive and thorough search of the site by specialist search officers, we have recovered a few more bones and forensic archaeologists who have studied them at the scene believe that they may be from more than one body.

"However, advice from the experts is that the remains may well be in excess of 100 years old and they will now be subject to carbon dating to confirm this. The search is no longer being treated as a crime scene and a report will be submitted to the coroner."

Police were called by the contractors who found several bones while digging and clearing the ground at the side of the southbound carriageway of the A23, 100m south of the Slaugham junction in West Sussex, at 10.02am on Monday, Sussex Police said.

Specialist search and scenes of crime officers have been examining the bones with a forensic archaeologist as well as searching the surrounding area. Nothing else has been found at this time, a police spokesman said.

He said: "There are several small pieces of bone and we believe they are human.

"They will be removed today and taken to a forensic laboratory for detailed examination, which may take some time.

"We are keeping an open mind at this time and have not yet formed a view on how the bones came to be there or their age.

"Although very close to the carriageway it is possible that they may have been carried there by animals.

"There is no evidence to show that they had been buried as they appeared on the surface during the process of digging and ground clearance.''

The A23 has not been closed and roadworks continue in all but the area immediately taped off by police.

Latest suggestions are that the bones came from a jaw and a limb.

Last year 42 year old Gary Hampson from Portlade went missing and his assumed to have been murdered. Officers searched the A23 corridor for his body.

In 1991 a headless body was found in nearby Bolney