Human skull found by child on beach

A human skull was found on the beach at Little Oakley

A human skull was found on the beach at Little Oakley - Credit: Alisha Nadene Smith

Police believe a human skull, found by a child walking along a beach, may have been washed ashore by the tide.

The grim discovery is understood to have been made by a 13-year-old girl and her father as they walked along the beach near Harwich.

Police have confirmed that the skull is human but have yet to establish its age.

The discovery was made on Sunday afternoon at Irlam’s Beach, Little Oakley, about midway between Harwich and Walton-on-the-Naze.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "A human skull was found by a member of the public while walking along Irlam’s Beach, Little Oakley, at around 3.30pm on Sunday, February 14.

"At present, it is not known how old the skull is but we believe it may have been brought in by the tide.

"Enquiries are ongoing, but this is not being treated as suspicious."

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Michael Bush, Tendring district councillor for the Oakleys and Wix ward, said: "We are still trying to understand if it is new or ancient and I know the forensics teams are dealing with all of that.

"It is exciting to some extent, as Hamford Water in Little Oakley go right back into early times. The inlets go right through to Walton and go back hundreds of years historically.

"It is known there were settlements there and fishing boats from Europe still come to fish there. Seals live there too so it is a really protected area.

"The issue is whether the skull is ancient or murder, but I have been speaking to residents and some of them weren't even aware it had been found until this afternoon. We don't even know exactly which section of the beach it was found on."

Meanwhile, Suffolk Constabulary said detectives are not linking the discovery of the skull with an investigation into bones found in the river at Sudbury last August.

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