A severed human head is thought to have been discovered by workers in a quiet Worcestershire village, prompting a police investigation.
The remains appeared to have been left at the location “for several years”, police said.
The force added that a post-mortem examination would be carried out once the remains were recovered to determine how the person died, with the death currently being treated as unexplained.
It is understood that a human head was uncovered on Thursday by a group of telecom engineers in the village, which sits near Worcestershire’s border with Birmingham.
“I can confirm that the remains appear to have been in their location for several years,” Detective Inspector Lisa Duncan said in a statement.
“However, at this time we are keeping an open mind as to the cause of death as the investigation is in the very early stages.”
Ms Duncan added: “I would like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding as there is still a local road closure [Egghill Lane] and an increased police and media presence in the area.”
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said they had never seen anything like the police presence in the village on Thursday and Friday.
“They have searched a huge area of the countryside around it and everyone is in shock. We heard it was a severed head that was found and then cops found the body,” the resident said.
“You can only imagine what it was like finding that if that is the case, it doesn't bear thinking about.”
On Thursday, Detective Inspector Mark Walters of West Mercia Police said officers were treating the death as unexplained and no identification had taken place for the remains yet.
He added that identification could be “a lengthy process”.
Officers have asked anyone with information which could be helpful to the investigation to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 00206i of 10 September 2020.
Additional reporting by agencies