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UK police inquiry focusing on missing women

January 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Police trying to identify the body of a woman found on Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham estate say they are focusing on cases of missing women in the area.

As of now, no one is suggesting the murder mystery is tied to anyone in the royal family. The only link so far to the queen and her family is that the body was found in the woods of the Sandringham estate.

But at one point, the royals may have come within a few feet of the body during a hunt without noticing it. As for the victim, "Good Morning America" is reporting Wednesday that authorities in England believe the victim is a white female around 15 to 23 years old.

Officials think the body has been on the Sandringham estate for about four months, and it does appear foul play is involved.

There is a number of missing person cases in the surrounding area that police are looking into, but for now police are not talking about who they think they victim is.

ABC News contributor Duncan Larcombe said locals in the area suspected the body may be that of a 17-year-old girl who went missing last August. However, Larcombe said the girl's grandmother claims authorities already informed her that the body is likely not that of her granddaughter.

"The police are really keeping their cards close to their chest, but they seem convinced that this wasn't an accident, that this was foul play," Larcombe said.

Part of the Sandringham estate is open to the public, and it was in this area that the body was discovered New Year's Day.

The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, were in residence at the estate when the body was found.

The estate spans more than 30 square miles and is home to more than 200 people other than the royals.

It's not the first time this has happened. In March 2010, the body of American Robert James Moore, described as a loner and obsessed with the queen, was found 100 yards from Buckingham Palace.

Also in November 2010, the body of Joanna Brown, 46, was found on the Crown Estate in Windsor, apparently killed by hammer blows to her head. Her estranged husband, Robert Brown, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 26 years in prison.

Meantime, the queen and Prince Philip are scheduled to stay at the estate until next month. They have not announced any plans to leave early.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.