Police announce further tests on woman’s exhumed body

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FURTHER forensic tests are taking place on the body of a woman exhumed from a South Yorkshire cemetery, police have confirmed.

South Yorkshire Police closed Barnsley Road in Silkstone, near Barnsley, on Thursday night for the exhumation to take place at All Saints and St James Church.

Officers are not naming the woman at her family’s request, but said she was from Barnsley and aged in her 30s when she died last year.

The original post-mortem examination failed to provide a cause of death and police have so far said there is nothing to suggest any suspicious circumstances.

However, a coroner decided to call on police officers to exhume the body - after being requested by a concerned family member - in order to allow a forensic post-mortem examination to take place.

Another post-mortem took place in Sheffield yesterday, but police have now said further tests will be undertaken in the coming days.

Detective Superintendent Dave Barraclough said: “The exhumation took place overnight on Thursday and the post mortem was undertaken in Sheffield yesterday. Further forensics results are required.

“The road closure was lifted after the equipment was removed from the church.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “The body is being exhumed so that a forensic post-mortem can take place at the request of the coroner in an attempt to determine a cause of death.

“The initial post-mortem was unable to establish the cause of death and as there was nothing to suggest any suspicious circumstances the family was allowed to continue with the funeral arrangements in the normal way.

“At the start of the coroner’s inquest, a family member raised concerns in a letter to the coroner as to the cause of the woman’s death.

“As a result, this was referred to South Yorkshire Police to investigate.”

Barnsley Road was re-opened by officers yesterday afternoon.

There has been no vehicle or pedestrian access to Barnsley Road between Silkstone Lane and Vicarage Farm Court while the exhumation work was taking place.