A POLICE investigation has been launched to discover the identity of two people whose remains were found buried in the back garden of a house on a quiet residential street.
Nottinghamshire Police said they had uncovered the bodies in the garden of a semi-detached house in Mansfield, following a search, after acting on information they received last week.
Officers have remained tight-lipped about their investigation and would say only that information had come to light about an “incident” alleged to have taken place in the late 1990s.
Post-mortem examinations to try and establish cause of death were taking place last night.
The force said the current tenant and owner of the property were nothing to do with their investigation, while the remains could take “several weeks or months” to identify.
Neighbours living in Blenheim Close told of the previous occupants, an elderly couple, who had “just disappeared”, with the house apparently standing empty until about seven years ago when new people moved in.
It is understood police officers may have been attempting to trace family members of that couple in recent days.
One neighbour, who declined to give her name, said she knew of an elderly couple who used to live at the house in the 1990s.
The 51-year-old, who lives in the street with her partner and 16-year-old son, said: “I only saw the man a few times. I never saw the lady or any family.
“I’ve lived here for 18 years. They were living at the house when I moved in.
“But they never had any visitors. I never saw anyone coming or going.
“My friend and I always used to say ‘I wonder what happened to that couple’. They just disappeared.
‘The word on the street was that they had emigrated. But I thought that was strange as they seemed so elderly,
“The house was a bit neglected, and you would only ever really catch glimpses of them through the window.
“After they disappeared, I think it was sold and seemed to be done up, and it’s now rented by a lady.We first noticed some activity on Wednesday, but the police have told us very little.
“We’re obviously very shocked. We have been living here and having parties in the back garden and barbeques while all the time there were human remains buried just yards away.
“It’s awful. Nothing much goes on around here. It is just a typical suburban street.”
Police activity at the house was continuing yesterday. Part of the rear garden was covered by a forensics tent and evidence of the excavation was plain to see, with mounds of earth piled next to a mini-digger.
Police are refusing to release further details about their investigation and would say only that information had come to light about an “incident” alleged to have taken place in the late 1990s.
Inspector Mark Webster, of Nottinghamshire Police, said during a press conference held at the scene yesterday afternoon that the two bodies had now been removed from the address.
He said it could take “several weeks or months” for formal identification to be completed.
Mr Webster said: “As a result of information we received in force last week we commenced a search at premises on Blenheim Close in the Forest Town area of Mansfield and yesterday we uncovered the bodies of two people.
“Forensic tests are taking place at this moment to identify who they are, formally.”
He said the house’s current tenant and owner had been “extremely helpful” and were not part of the investigation.
Mr Webster would not discuss any further details of precisely what information had sparked the police search and also refused to rule out whether they were looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
Reassuring concerned locals about the case, he said: “We don’t believe there is any risk of any harm coming to the community.
“People are clearly going to be concerned when an incident of this nature happens and we would like to reassure them and we’d like to thank people, particularly the local neighbours on Blenheim Close, they’ve been really helpful to us.”
Mr Webster appealed to anyone with information to come forward. The house is in a quiet cul-de-sac in an area mainly lived in by elderly people.
Nottinghamshire Police said the property is privately owned and rented to tenants. A spokeswoman for the force said no further updates on the case were expected until at least Monday.