Police cannot rule out murder after a mystery body was found in a burnt out car on a remote Billinge farm track.
The remains was so badly damaged that at present officers have so far been unable even to establish the victim’s gender and an urgent appeal has been made asking for help with identification.
They were called to a quiet rural lane behind Up Holland High School shortly before 9am yesterday after a dog walker spotted a torched Ford Focus.
On arrival at the scene - off Sandbrook Road - stunned police discovered the badly burnt body in the driver’s seat.
A post-mortem examination was last night expected imminently as investigators described the death as “unexplained.”
Inquiries are at an early stage, and detectives are eager to hear from anyone who has information about how the car came to be down the farm track and who its owner and/or occupant was.
The vehicle is an old style two-door Ford Focus with five-spoke alloy wheels and a larger than usual exhaust.
Last night an evidence tent, a private ambulance and a number of forensic experts and police officers were still at the scene.
Police are especially keen to hear from anyone who recognises the description of the car or has seen anything suspicious relating to it.
Someone may have seen or heard something suspicious in the area during Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning, or seen the car on fire.
One witness, Susan Spence, wrote on Twitter: “Saw the fire last night. Lots of flames around 5.30. Thought farm was burning stuff.”
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “At this time it has not been possible to determine any details about the body inside the vehicle and the death is being treated as unexplained.”
Anyone with information can call police on 101 quoting log number 0208 of January 8 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.