Police called out to investigate reports that a dog walker might have found human remains have said a toe thought to be sticking out of mud was actually a potato.
The woman had taken a photo of the scene in a muddy field in Winlaton, Gateshead, on Tuesday and sent it to police to investigate.
Northumbria Police said the image did show what appeared to be a human toe, so officers searched the field, with response officers and specialist police dogs sent in.
The force said: “Eventually, officers tracked down the ‘scene’ only to discover the toe was in fact a potato with a mushroom growing next to it.”
Inspector Phil Hamlani said the call was made in good faith and he encouraged others to report anything suspicious.
He said: “The person who called this in was very concerned, and in the picture she sent to us the object did look like it could be human remains.
“It was already dark by the time we got a call and so we had to deploy search teams to track down the scene to rule out any foul play.
“The search team did have a chuckle when they realised it was a potato but the call was made in good faith and we can only praise the vigilance of the woman who made the call.
“If anyone does come across suspected human remains, please do the same and give us a call.
“If it does turn out to be a vegetable, our police dogs will thank you for the treat!”